LW6022 - International Law

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about international law - the law of nations. Beginning with an overview of the basics of international law - treaties and customary law, state responsibility, and jurisdiction - you will then progress through a series of case studies (on diplomatic immunities, the use of force, the law of armed conflict, international criminal law, international human rights law, and international economic law) to develop your knowledge of how those basic principles are applied. You will also develop an understanding of the international legal elements of current international events through these case studies.

How will I learn on this module?

Teaching will be delivered via a combination of lectures and seminars, as follows:

24 x 1 hour large group lecture sessions. The purpose of these sessions is to introduce you to each topic in turn and guide/elucidate your reading.

12 x 1 hour tutorials. These small group session combine consolidation of existing knowledge with discussion questions, debating exercises, and analysis of problem questions.

Face to face teaching will be supplemented by posting recordings of lectures, PowerPoint slides, and other supplementary materials on the e-Learning Portal.

In addition to teaching you will be expected to read widely in preparation for teaching sessions, based on a reading list provided in advance. This reading done in preparation for tutorials (which is elsewhere referred to as “Teacher Guided Independent Learning”, or TGIL) will, as a rough guide, constitute 60 hours across the module.

Feedback on summative assessment will take the following forms:

• Written feedback on completed feedback sheet.
• • Opportunity to discuss your assessment performance with the tutor in feedback week.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The primary form of academic support on this module will be via teaching sessions. You will receive guidance and explanations from tutors throughout the 12 tutorials, as well as stimulating discussions and reading materials.
In addition to this academic support in sessions and the support outlined above you will also be supported on this module in the following ways:

• Short self-test questions to test knowledge on the module eLP
• Opportunities to answer a past assessment question and a special lecture session on exam technique based on that question
• Members of the module team being available to discuss questions by email or by appointment
• The module eLP site, which will provide information relating to the module and its assessment, a module handbook, tutorial questions, further reading, PowerPoint slides, and panopto recordings of lectures.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will know about the international rules affecting the conduct of States, generally and in specific contexts
You will have deep knowledge of the most important areas of international law, with a detailed and coherent understanding of the law pertaining to current international events
• You will be aware of important current legal and political developments in the international sphere and be able to evaluate this specialist knowledge in the context of a written problem or essay question.
• You will have a working knowledge of international legal theory

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will develop the ability to consolidate and apply knowledge and understanding to complex problems in order to evaluate legality or otherwise of State conduct
• You will develop the ability to conduct independent research, including accurate identification of issues; the retrieval and evaluation of relevant, current information from a range of sources; and close reading of complex materials
• Develop oral advocacy skills in arguing for/against a proposition.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Instances of formative assessment on this module include:

• Testing knowledge and understanding in tutorials through problem-based and essay style questions, and group discussion exercise
• Group oral presentation in seminars with feedback given that mirrors assessment expectations/criteria.
• Short self-test questions to test knowledge and understanding
• A past assessment question with subsequent discussion & consideration of a model answer and points to note in a special lecture session

Summative assessment:
An oral presentation (10 mins) plus five minutes for Q&A with a member of staff.
Feedback will take the following forms:-
• Written feedback on your marked assessment paper and a completed feedback sheet against assessment criteria.
• Opportunity to discuss your assessment performance with the tutor in feedback week





Module abstract

This module is about the law of nations and the rules regarding international relations. It covers the laws of war, diplomatic relations, human rights, global trade, and international crimes such as piracy and genocide. It also explores the nature of law itself, the meaning of rules, and the dynamics of power on the global stage. It will provide an interesting counter-point to the study of domestic law topics, and illustrate how cutting edge academic legal research is currently conducted.

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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