LLM Public International Law

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
International Law, Technology and Security

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS70462
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


There has been a proliferation of technological tools that reshape security practices in the international legal order. From cyber threats, watchlisting practices, to the use of AI systems for border control or monitoring in detention, to the use of drones or autonomous weapons systems for target selection in situations of self-defence and at war, this cross-disciplinary course reflects on the evolution of contemporary security practices and the related developments of international law. This course will also be the opportunity to explore the increasing importance of public-private partnerships and the legal issues they raise. The International Law, Technology and Security course includes reflections related to international human rights law, international humanitarian law, refugee law, but because of its heavy focus on contemporary forms of violence and their regulation, this course has a strong emphasis on international humanitarian law. The first half of the course is dedicated to introducing students to the core principles of the law of armed conflict (or “international humanitarian law” (IHL), or “jus in bello”), thus equipping them with the tools to explorecontemporary debates and challenges posed to the law of armed conflict by contemporary means and methods of warfare.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
International Institutions LAWS70021 Pre-Requisite Optional
Global Law-Making LAWS70431 Pre-Requisite Optional


  • Introduce the students to the general principles applicable to the use of technological tools in contemporary security practices.
  • Introduce the students to main challenges faced by a variety of actors when they are confronted to issues of security and technology in global governance institutions 
  • Teach students to critically evaluate current proposals for the development of domestic and international law in the area of technology and security

Teaching and learning methods

Workshops, Case Studies


Intellectual skills


Practical skills

  • Critically assess and discuss how technology and security for regulatory frameworks
  • Develop arguments for and against security policies and practices using new technologies
  • Develop a holistic understanding of legal, socio-legal and military aspects of security practices using new technologies
  • Develop analytical skills and the ability to critically evaluate a large amount of information in order to develop arguments
  • Discuss theories and practices from different perspectives



Transferable skills and personal qualities

  •  Develop arguments and counterarguments, and discuss them, in groups
  • Acquire the ability to work independently and collaboratively in order to enhance their learning and present oral and written arguments

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Recommended reading

A comprehensive prescribed and recommended readings will be included in the course syllabus that will be distributed at the start of the Course.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi Unit coordinator
Gail Lythgoe Unit coordinator
Iain Scobbie Unit coordinator

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