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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW2147 Foundations of International Law

10 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Amrita Mukherjee

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

LAW2146International Law

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will lay the foundations for the study of public international law. It will examine how international law is a distinct legal system (separate from domestic law), the subjects and objects of international law, how it is developed and applied by states, international organisations and by courts. With the growth of globalisation and competition for resources as well as human rights concerns, the significance of international law is becoming increasingly apparent. The module approaches some contemporary problems and how international law is applied and how questions whether it comprises a developed system of law.


On completion of this module the students will be expected to have a thorough understanding of the applicable rules in the areas studied and be able to propose arguable solutions to concrete problems (either actual or hypothetical) in light of such analysis.

Learning outcomes
The aim of this module is to introduce students to the foundational subjects and frameworks in public international law. Upon completion of the course it is anticipated that students should be able to:
- understand international law as a legal system distinct from national legal systems;
- understand and analyse key concepts and how sources are interpreted and applied by States and international organisations as well as courts and tribunals;
- understand and relate international law to contemporary problems.

The subjects that will be examined will be the nature and purposes of international law, the sources of international law, statehood, territory and the right to self-determination, and state responsibility.


Nature of International Law
Sources of International Law
Statehood and Self-determination
State responsibility

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours86.00
Total Contact hours14.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

The students will be expected in assessed work to show understanding of key concepts and law-making in international law. They will be expected to apply these concepts and analyse them to specific questions and scenerios. The marking of assessed work will clearly reward good and well developed argument, hence they will be required to carry out independent research and develop their own critical thinking.

22 hours - 2 hours preparation for each lecture
18 hours - 6 hours preparation for each seminar
46 hours preparation for essay

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module will be assessed through 1 x 3000 word essay (90%)
Seminar performance will constitute 10% of the total assessment.
6 seminars graded: A; B; C; D & AB

Equivalent marks (%): A=80% B =65% C= 55% D= 30% & AB= 20%.
Average worked out over 6 seminars.

Grading is to be on the following basis:

A (80): "Voluntary contributions at relevant points. Detailed and comprehensive reference to primary/secondary sources and some evidence of reflective and insightful thought. Demonstrates an awareness of the need to ensure the participation of other students".
B. (65) "Contributes accurately at relevant points with reference to primary/secondary sources. Able to respond to set questions. Demonstrates an awareness of the need to ensure the participation of other students".
C. (55) "Limited or partly accurately contributions only"
D. (30) "Fails to contribute constructively"
AB (20): "Non attendance".

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Tutorial PerformanceAssessed in 3 seminars10.00
Essay1 x 1,500-word essay90.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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