LLM Specialisms 2012/13

Public International Law


[please note: links below are to the 2011/12 course guides; they will be updated when new guides are made available during the summer vacation]


The LSE has a long tradition of teaching international law. Previous teachers in the Department include Judge Rosalyn Higgins, at present Judge on the International Court of Justice, and Professor Ian Brownlie, member of the International Law Commission. The distinguished team of current international law teachers continues this tradition of commitment to the study of international law and its development in response to changing geo-political conditions. All of the international law teachers have governmental, practical or activist experience to complement their academic expertise, for example through practice in international and regional institutions, participation in international litigation and consultancies with a range of international organisations. The contacts and interests of the international lawyers, as well as the London location, mean that courses include lectures and discussions with a range of visiting specialists. There is a constant stream of distinguished visitors to the LSE who give public lectures and involve themselves in discussion groups and seminars in international law and its related disciplines. The Centre for the Study of Human Rights, the European Institute, and the Departments of International Relations and Development Studies provide further opportunities for consideration of the relevant issues from more diverse perspectives.

Climate Change and International Law (H) (LL4A6): the goal of this course is to explore the international law dealing with climate change with a view to assessing how risks and uncertainties caused by climate change are governed and allocated. Projected seminars include: climate change science; politics; ethics; theory of international law; international environmental law; trade and investment law; human rights law; international development; energy security; food security.

Human Rights in the Developing World (LL409): the application of global human rights standards through the national legal systems of post-colonial states, with an emphasis on the judicial application of constitutional bills of rights in culturally diverse and often economically disadvantaged societies. [not offered 2012/13]

Human Rights of Women (LL454): an introduction to a gender-based analysis of the mainstream normative and institutional frameworks for human rights, including a study of the international guarantees of the civil, political, social and economic rights of women, with particular focus on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, refugee women, violence against women in armed conflict and in peacetime, and the economic and social rights of women.  [not offered 2012/13]

International Criminal Law (LL445): the protection of individuals and the punishment of States and individuals by international criminal law, including the standards of protection and procedures for their enforcement.

International Dispute Resolution (LL4F5): this course is concerned with the way in which conflicts or potential conflicts, both between states and with other participants in the international arena, can be peacefully managed and resolved. (this course is also available as two half units LL4E6 and LL4F6) [not offered 2012/13]

International Dispute Resolution : Courts and Tribunals (H) (LL4E6): Introduction: History and Controversies Surrounding International Adjudication. Introduction to the International Court of Justice focussing on jurisdiction, admissibility, contentious cases and advisory opinions. Introduction to a variety of other specialist international courts and tribunals, including in some of the following areas: international criminal law, law of the sea, arbitration and trade law. Analysis of key theoretical questions: hierarchy and fragmentation; legitimacy and compliance; and the making of international law.

International Dispute Resolution: Non-Adjudicatory Processes (H) (LL4F6): the course will examine the various non-adjudicatory processes for the management and attempted peaceful resolution of disputes that are currently available to states and other participants in the international arena. These will be considered in the historical, political and legal contexts of various international disputes It will consider the legal and policy issues that influence choices as to different approaches to dispute resolution. [not offered 2012/13]

International Economic Law (LL447): an introduction to the public international law of economic relations, focusing on the principles governing the production and distribution of goods, currency and finance, and related services and the structure and operation of international organisations concerned with such activities. [not offered 2012/13]

International Economic Law (H) (LL4B1): an introduction to the public international law of economic relations, focusing on the principles governing the production and distribution of goods, currency and finance, and related services and the structure and operation of international organisations concerned with such activities.

International and European Environmental Law (LL4D6): study of international and European legal responses to global environmental challenges, including climate changes, biodiversity protection, chemicals control, and international trade.

International Human Rights (LL453): a comprehensive introduction to the rapidly expanding international law of human rights and institutions both at a universal and regional level.

The International Law of Self-Determination (H) (LL4K4): this course will provide a general introduction to the doctrine of self-determination. The doctrine will be historically contextualised and its contemporary content explored. Self-determination's relationship to state formation, minority rights, aboriginal rights, women's rights and the nascent right to democratic governance will be central topics. Upon completion of the course students will be in a position to legally analyse contemporary fact patterns and to identify both strengths and weaknesses in the existing legal framework. Students will have considered new and novel approaches to self-determination and will have an appreciation for the doctrine's particular contribution to political and economic liberty.

International Law and the Use of Force (H) (LL4A8): this half-unit course examines the law relating to when it is permissible to use force (jus ad bellum). The course can be taken alone or (when available) together with LL4A9: Law in War as a full unit course. The aim of this course is to develop an understanding of the principles of international law that regulate the use of force in international society. It concentrates on the prohibition of resort to force in Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter and the exceptions to that prohibition. It looks in detail at the right of self-defence, humanitarian intervention, pro-democratic intervention, and protection of nationals. The use of force by or with the authorization of the United Nations is also considered.

The International Law of Armed Conflict and the Use of Force (LL452): the international legal regulation of the use of force, including the law regarding resort to force contained in the United Nations Charter and customary international law, and the regulation of the conduct of hostilities by the law of armed conflict (international humanitarian law).

International Law and the Protection of Refugees, Displaced Persons and Migrants (LL460): the international framework, and the problems, policies and standards which apply in the protection of refugees and refugee women, internally displaced persons and migrants. 

Investment Treaty Law (H) (LL4E7): this course introduces students to international investment law and dispute settlement, the latter emphasizing developments in investment treaty arbitration. The course focuses on the public international law rules and institutions that govern investments and investment treaty disputes. The course has four components: (1) the historical, theoretical and policy background behind investment treaties and dispute settlement by arbitration; (2) the rules governing jurisdiction and admissibility of investor-state arbitration cases; (3) the substantive principles and standards such as national treatment, most-favoured-nation treatment, expropriation, and the minimum standard in international law that may apply to the investor-state relationships; and (4) recognition and enforcement of investor-state arbitral awards and the interaction between international tribunals and national courts.

Law of International Economic and Financial Sanctions (H) (LL4K2): covers economic and financial sanctions against States and non-State actors. The course addresses multilateral programmes established by the UN and EU and unilateral measures instituted by individual States, implementation of sanctions within domestic legal systems, issues arising in international law and human rights, and effects on third parties.

Law in War (H) (LL4A9): this half-unit course covers the law governing the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello, also known as the law of armed conflict or international humanitarian law). This course can be taken alone or (when available) together with LL4A8: International Law and the Use of Force, as a full unit course. The course will take a critical approach to the international regulation and facilitation of armed conflict. As well as the laws governing the means and methods of warfare ('Hague' law) and the 'protected' groups hors de combat ('Geneva' law), the course will cover 'lawfare' more generally: the recourse to law as a means of waging war. It will also look at the law of belligerent occupation. The course will emphasise critical and historical perspectives on the use of law in situations of violent conflict, rather than preparing students to apply them in practice.

Rethinking International Law (LL423): an advanced level general course in Public International Law, studying the discipline as a whole from distinctively theoretical, historical and practical perspectives.

Terrorism and the Rule of Law (H) (LL475): a theoretical and historical introduction to the concept of terrorism. It will critically consider definitions of terrorism, and analyse the relationship between terrorism and the right to rebel, and the right to engage in civil disobedience. The role of international law generally and international human rights law in particular in the context of terrorism and anti-terrorism action will be considered in detail.

World Poverty and Human Rights (H) (LL4C2): looks at the topical issues of world poverty and development, inequality between states, and the roles and duties of  states and other actors from the perspective of the international law of human rights.


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