Law and International Development - LAWS6160

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Luis Eslava checkmark-circle


The first half of the module will provide students with detailed knowledge and understanding of the idea of development, the international development project, the main international development institutions and the international context in which they developed; the national effects of the development project; and the movement of Law and Development. The second half of the module will examine contemporary topics in law and international development, including (but not limited to) human rights and development; decentralization and local development; sustainability and development; law and the informal sector; rule of law promotion; and the intersection between security and developmental concerns and discourses.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 130
Total study hours: 150


All undergraduate single and joint honours law programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

In-class participation (10%)
In-class group presentation (40%)
Final Essay of 2,500 words (50%)

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Alston, Philip and Mary Robinson (eds.). Human Rights and Development- Towards Mutual Enforcement (Oxford: OUP, 2005).
• Eslava, Luis, Local Space, Global Life: The Everyday Operation of International Law and Development (Cambridge: CUP, 2015).
• Fennell, Shailaja. Rules, Rubrics and Riches: the interrelations between legal reform and international development (London: Routledge,
• Gauri, Varun and Daniel Brinks (eds). Courting Social Justice: Judicial Enforcement of Social and Economic Rights in the Developing
World (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008).
• Hatchard, John and Amanda Perry-Kessaris (eds). Law and Development: Facing Complexity in the 21st Century (London: Cavendish,
• Mattei, Ugo and Laura Nader, Plunder- When the Rule of Law is Illegal (Blackwell, 2008)
• Massoud, Mark Fathi, Law's Fragile State Colonial, Authoritarian, and Humanitarian Legacies in Sudan (Cambridge: CUP, 2014).
• Pahuja, Sundhya, Decolonizing International Law: Development, Economic Growth and the Politics of Universality (Cambridge: CUP,
• Perry-Kessaris, Amanda (ed). Law in the Pursuit of Development: Principles into Practice? (London: Routledge, 2010).
• Rist, Gilbert, The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith. (London: Zed, 3rd ed, 2011).
• Trubek, David and Alvaro Santos (eds.) The New Law and Economic Development - A Critical Appraisal (Cambridge: CUP, 2006).
• Willis, Katie, Theories and Practices of Development (London: Rutledge, 2nd ed, 2011).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Critically understand the theoretical debates and academic controversies surrounding the relationship between law and the international
development project;
2. Critically understand the historical and ideological underpinnings of Western legal thought and international policy in the field of Law and
3. Identify and critically analyse the major doctrines, policies and norms directing current international institutions in their efforts to build rule of
law, good governance, economic proficiency, environmental sustainability and related aspirations in developing countries;
4. Place, and critically assess, issues of law and development in their proper political, economic, social and jurisdictional contexts.
5. Demonstrate an awareness of the economic, political and/or social implications of various approaches to law and international development.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Read carefully and efficiently both legal and non-legal texts;
2. Demonstrate argumentation skills relating to legal and non-legal texts;
3. Understand and apply interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law;
4. Construct well-reasoned and well-structured arguments about theoretical and practical issues;


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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