LAWS 7030 Principles of International Law

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200964

Coordinator Meda Couzens Opens in new window

Description This unit explores the nature, role and characteristics of international law; the concepts of statehood; sovereignty and jurisdiction; the relationships between domestic and international law; the role of law and treaties; and the role of international organisations such as the United Nations and International Court of Justice. The unit also examines contemporaneous and contentious issues of international law.

School Law

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Restrictions Students must be enrolled in programs 8083 Bachelor of Research Studies/Master of Research, 8084/8085 Master of Research, 2824 Master of Laws, 2784 or 2810 Master of Laws (International Governance).

Assumed Knowledge

Bachelor of Laws or equivalent qualification.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Analyse the fundamental norms of public international law, significant customary international law principles and jurisprudence of relevant international Courts;
  2. Evaluate the principal institutions of the international legal system and the principle 'sources' of law that they apply in resolving disputes;
  3. Critically assess the major challenges to, and weaknesses and effectiveness of, public international law;
  4. Apply fundamental principles of public international law to contemporary issues and in problem solving;
  5. Produce clear, well structured, appropriately referenced, critical analysed arguments about salient points of international law.

Subject Content

The Nature and Development of International Law
The Structure of the International Legal System
Sources of International Law and The Law of Treaties
International Law and Municipal Law
Personality, Statehood and Recognition
Title to Territory and State Jurisdiction
Immunity from Jurisdiction and State Responsibility
Legal Regulation of the Use of Force by States
Specific Areas of International Law
Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Literature Review 2,000 words (including footnotes) 25 N Individual
Oral Presentation (Group) 20 minutes 25 N Individual
Essay 4,000 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Harris, David John and Sandesh Sivakumaran, Cases and Materials on International Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 8th ed, 2015).
  • Shaw, Malcolm N, International Law (Cambridge University Press, 7th ed, 2014).
  • There is not a prescribed textbook, readings are provided on vUWS and in addition students are to find own materials to support final essay.

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 2

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Meda Couzens Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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