LL4AD      Half Unit
Rethinking International Law: International Law and Contemporary Problems

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Susan Marks


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is part of the following LLM specialism: Public International Law.

This course has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.



There are no formal prerequisites. 

Course content

This course is primarily designed for students who have already had some exposure to public international law and wish to deepen their understanding of the international legal dimensions of contemporary problems. Each week the relation will be explored between international law and a different global issue or theme, such as war, poverty, terrorism, humanity, and territory. Course readings will encompass both legal scholarship and relevant writing by scholars from other disciplines (geography, anthropology, philosophy, literary studies, etc.).


This course will comprise one two-hour seminar each week in Autumn Term, except in Week 6, which is Reading Week.

Students are expected to have done the set reading prior to each seminar and be willing to participate take active part in class discussion.

Formative coursework

Class exercises (which do not count towards the final assessment) will be set.

Indicative reading

Reading lists will be provided for each seminar on Moodle. Relevant readings are likely to include: David Kennedy, Of War and Law; Sundhya Pahuja, Decolonising International Law: Development, Economic Growth and the Politics of Universality; and Balakrishnan Rajagopal, International Law from Below: Development, Social Movements and Third World Resistance.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the spring exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2022/23: Unavailable

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills