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LL105: International Law: Contemporary Issues

Session: Two
Prerequisites: None

Dr Andrew Lang
Dr Devika Hovell
Mr Chris Thomas

The overall purpose of the course is to engage students with international affairs through the study of the legal frameworks which govern them, while at the same time situating that legal framework within the material and cultural conditions of international politics. The course is not restricted to those with a background in law and typically draws students with an interest in international relations, global politics and global economic relations, as well as law.

Students will be given a solid grounding in the foundations of the international legal order. However, the course will be problem-based, rather than doctrinal, and will focus on controversial and challenging issues in contemporary international politics – including the recent examples of the use of force, international economic integration, international criminal law and the promotion and protection of human rights. Specifically, the course will cover a selection of contemporary issues drawn from the following issue areas:

  • The protection of the global environment;
  • Possibilities and challenges of global economic integration;
  • The use of force in international politics;
  • The promotion and protection of human rights;
  • International criminal law;
  • The laws of war (international humanitarian law); and
  • The right of colonised and other subjugated or oppressed peoples to self-determination.


There will be electronic resources for this course containing links to much of the essential reading. In addition, students should purchase both Evans (ed), International Law, 4th ed. (OUP: 2014), and Trebilcock, Understanding Trade Law (Edward Elgar, 2011).

Lectures: 36 hours    Classes: 12 hours
Assessment: One written assessment (2000 words) and one written exam.