LLB Law with Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Public International Law

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS20372
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


To facilitate a focus both on International Law as a legal system, as well as aspects of the
substantive provisions of International Law.

To provide students with an insight into International Law -- particularly its basic
structures and foundations. This insight is provided against a general background of
contemporary international affairs.

To orientate students with the basic analytical, presentational and research skills specific
to International Law.

To provide a general background to the subject of International Law, and to focus on
particular issues in some depth.

Learning outcomes


Teaching and learning methods

30 hours of lectures, five hours of (fortnightly) seminars and 10 hours of (weekly) direction and feedback drop in sessions.

The delivery of lectures will be traditionally led.
Seminars will involve discussion around problem and essay questions.

Students are expected to actively participate both in the lectures and seminars.  Students are encouraged to read before attending lectures the relevant materials from one of the recommended textbooks and/or casebook.  Preparation for seminars is compulsory.  Students are encouraged to keep abreast with developments in international relations.

Knowledge and understanding

An ability to understand the relevant norms of International Law -- including customary norms, general principles, treaties, judicial decisions and writings.

Familiarity with the current state of the law and international affairs.

A capacity to identify and analyse critically the key issues in Public International Law

Practical skills

An ability to collect information from the sources available.

An ability to analyse the subject, to recognize its assumptions, arguments, conclusions and implications.

An ability to criticize the information to demonstrate possible inconsistencies, omissions and faulty reasoning. An ability to argue effectively and relevantly both in writing and discussion.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

An ability to think logically, to assess competing principles impartially and to identify and solve international legal problems. An ability to discuss such problems orally and to articulate relevant conclusions. An ability to think independently and to use one’s own initiative in developing reforms. An ability to manage one’s own study- time and meet deadlines. An ability to utilize search engines, navigate the Internet and make appropriate use of relevant websites.

Assessment methods

Depending on the situation with Covid19 and government advice in place, the course will be examined by way of a formal written examination. The examination will be composed of both essay and problem questions. Candidates may not take any materials into the examination. The examination paper will comprise of six questions. Candidates will be expected to answer any three questions from the six questions set. Further clarification on the examination will be provided in due course.

Feedback methods

Formative feedback is provided with optional non-assessed coursework.

Outlines of issues will be published after the exams.

Recommended reading

TEXTBOOKS: [Latest editions] Either:
Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (OUP) OR
Shaw, International Law (CUP) OR
Dixon, Textbook on International Law (OUP) OR
Malanczuk, Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law, Routledge OR
Cassese International Law (OUP) OR
R. Wallace International Law (Sweet & Maxwell)

CASEBOOKS: [Latest editions]
A. Abass, Cases and Materials on International Law (OUP) OR

Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law (Sweet & Maxwell) OR
M. Dixon & R. McCorquodale, Cases and Materials on International Law (OUP)

BASIC DOCUMENTS [Latest edition]
Malcolm D. Evans (ed.) Blackstone’s International Law Documents (OUP)
- This publication can be taken in the Examination

Oppenheim’s International Law (9th ed)
R.Higgins Problems and Process (OUP)
M.Evans (Ed) International Law (OUP, 2003)
V Lowe International Law (OUP, 2007)
Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International law (OUP) www.mpepil.com

See particularly the American journal of International Law (AJIL) available on JR Library Catalogue (JSTOR);
International Comparative Law Quarterly (ICLQ);
British Year Book Of International Law (BYIL)
European Journal of International Law (available on www.EJIL.org)

International Law Reports (ILR)
International Court o Justice (ICJ) Reports
International Legal Materials (ILM)

United Nations Treat Series (ILM)

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Yenkong Ngangjoh Hodu Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Closed book examination.


Restricted to: LLB/BA (Law with Politics) and LLB (Law) second and third year students and available to all SOSS students as well as students University wide.

  This course is available to incoming study abroad students.

Pre-requisites: This course is desirable but not essential for those students who wish to study LAWS31082 International Courts and Tribunals in their final year.

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