Module leader: Professor Mohammad Shahabuddin
Teaching and assessment (2017-18): Semester 1,1 x 6,000 word essay
In an increasingly globalised world, there are fewer and fewer areas of law and practice that do not involve some form of international law. International law is also increasingly a part of political debate, as occurred, for example, in relation to the Iraq conflict, and is now frequently referred to in judicial decisions at the highest level. International law has antecedents that predate the Common Era, but the modern, State-based international order is slightly more recent, dating from 1648. Nonetheless, there have been large changes in global order in the last century, with, for example the creation of the United Nations and the emergence of individuals and multinational corporations as international actors. This course is intended to introduce students to the basic nature, structure, legal sources and concepts of contemporary international law, alongside a selection of its basic rules.
Students would be well-advised to familiarise themselves with DJ Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law (2010 Sweet and Maxwell), and the latest edition of either M Evans, International Law Documents (OUP), or I Brownlie, Basic Documents on International Law (also OUP). For those who wish to gain some additional analytical insights, recommended (though not part of basic regular readings on the module) texts would be A Cassese, International Law, and R Higgins, Problems and Process, International Law and How We Use It (both OUP).
Students should also familiarise themselves with the website of the ICJ, www.icj-cij.org