International Law: Principles and Sources - LW642

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR DS Dinsmore




Cannot be taken if you have previously taken LW506.



The module will examine the role and function of international law in regulating relations between States and resolving international disputes. It will introduce students to a number of theoretical frameworks through which to understand and critically evaluate international law historically and in context. It will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the origins and development of international law and of its key concepts, principles and rules. The module will enable students to consider the relevance, or otherwise, of international law to contemporary international problems and to critically assess its limitations and effects. This will be achieved through a range of topics and case studies.

An indicative list of topics studies follows:
  • The history of international law
  • Sources of international law
  • The relationship between international law and domestic law
  • Jurisdiction and Immunities
  • Statehood
  • Self-determination
  • State responsibility
  • International dispute settlement
  • The International Court of Justice and International Organisations
  • Details

    This module appears in:

    Contact hours

    One hour lecture and one hour seminar weekly.


    Autumn term.

    Method of assessment

    100% coursework consisting of two pieces of written work.

    Preliminary reading

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

    Learning outcomes

    On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

    1. demonstrate detailed understanding of the origins, development and current debates on the nature of international law;
    2. demonstrate in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of the international law frameworks and institutions;
    3. demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the concepts, principles and rules of international law;
    4. analyse the relevance or otherwise of international law to particular disputes;
    5. demonstrate a critical awareness of historical and contemporary theoretical, legal and political problems in international law;
    6. critically evaluate the relationship between international law and social, political and economic contexts.

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