SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHM122825
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge


Summary of Content

Contemporary Issues in International Law is concerned with the critical knowledge of the fundamental rules and principles of Public International Law, its law making process and its institutions. It covers issues relating to Sources and Subjects of International Law, the relationship between International Law and Municipal Law, International Institutions, Economic Development, Sovereignty, Jurisdiction and Territory, State Responsibility, Use of Force and Dispute Settlement. PRME-related issues: This module aims at engaging students in conceptual and case studies research that advances their understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of the international actors in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value. It will also facilitate and support dialog and debate among students on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.


-360b7 Nature and Development of International Law -360 o Definition, Status and Various Approaches -360b7 Modern theories relating to Sources of International Law -360b7 International Law and Municipal Law b7 Subjects of International Law b7 Sovereignty, Jurisdiction and Territory b7 Development and Challenges to Economic Development b7 Protection of the Global Environment; b7 Sustainability and Global Governance b7 Possibilities and Challenges of Global Economic Integration b7 State Responsibility b7 Use of Force b7 Peaceful Settlement of Disputes

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student will be able to:1. enhance advanced knowledge and understanding of rules, principles and approaches relating to the most important issues in Public International Law to the level required of a reasonably competent professional in the field;2. enhance the student's ability in critical analysis and thinking;3. enhance the student's ability in problem-solving;4. enhance in-depth and independent learning and enable students to develop individual responsibility for conducting and organising their work;5. identify and evaluate their personal learning strategies utilising most up to date methods particularly information technology;6. enhance student awareness of issues relating to PRME and to develop the student's capabilities to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy;7. identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information using paper and electronic repositories; use primary and secondary legal sources which are relevant to the topic under study and current at the point of assessment; present knowledge and information using sources to support arguments and conclusions; provide recognised methods of citation and reference.8. identify accurately and formulate clearly the legal issues to be researched; undertake independent research (both paper-based and electronic) in areas of law which have not been previously studied, using paper and electronic repositories to research new topics without reference to a reading list; and9. improve the students' written and oral communication and group work skills.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission. The Module will be mainly conducted by lectures and seminars totalling 44 hours. The students will be asked to prepare in advance (usually each area of discussion will be identified at the beginning of the course or at least one week in advance to enable students to study the relevant material) and actively participate in the discussion. Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. Feedback will be provided to students as follows: -360 1. Students will be provided with feedback within three weeks of submission of all summative assessments providing information on strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for corrective action to be applied in future submissions. The tutor will also provide generic feedback at the seminars where coursework will be handed back. Students may also discuss any points with their lecturer or tutor. -360 2. The virtual learning environment site will be used to feedback overall performance by students on all summative assessments highlighting overall strengths and weaknesses. -360 3. Discussion boards will be used to encourage teacher and peer-to-peer dialogue on certain topic areas where this form of communication would be regarded as effective. Student feedback on teaching, learning and assessment will be sought at the end of the semester through a module evaluation questionnaire.

Indicative Reading

-426 ESSENTIAL READING : -426 1. Crawford, James , Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law, Oxford: OUP 8 th Ed. (2012). 2. Abass, Ademola, International Law, Text, Cases and Materials, Oxford: OUP (2012). 3. Cassese, Antonio, International Law, Oxford: OUP, (2005) (or latest ed.). 4. Dixon, M. Text Book on International Law, 7 th ed., Oxford: OUP, (2011) (or latest ed.) 5. Wallace, Rebecca M., International Law, London: Sweet and Maxwell, 6 th Ed. (2009) (or latest ed.) 6. Cheng, Tai-Heng, When International Law Works, OUP (2012) -426 RECOMMENDED: -426 7. Mansell, Wade, International Law - A Critical Introduction, Hart Publishing, (2012). 8. Silverburg, Sanford R., International Law: Contemporary Issues and Future Developments (Google eBook), Westview Press, (2011). 9. Freestone, D. & Davidson, S., Contemporary Issues in International Law: A Collection of the Josephine Onoh Memorial Lectures, Kluwer Law International, (2002). 10. Koskenniemi, Martti, The Politics of International Law, Hart Publishing, (2011). 11. Guzman, Andrew T., How International Law Works: A Rational Choice Theory, Oxford: OUP (2010). -426 12. Aust, Anthony, Modern Treaty Law and Practice <> , 2 nd Ed. Cambridge University Press, (2007). 13. Bantekas, Ilias, ed., Public International Law Statutes, London: Sweet and Maxwell (2002). 14. Brownlie, I, Principles of Public International Law, 6 th ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, (2003) 15. Dixon, M. and Mccorquodale, R., Cases and Materials on International Law, 6 th ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press, (2007). 16. Evans, Malcolm, International law Documents, Oxford: OUP, 10 th ed. (2011). 17. Evans, Malcolm, International Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3 rd Ed. (2010). 18. Gardiner, Richard K., International Law, Pearson Ed. Ltd. (2003). 19. Harris, D.J., Cases and Materials on International Law, 7 th Rev. ed., London: Sweet & Maxwell, (2010). 20. Hillier, Tim, Principles of Public International law, Cavendish Publishing Ltd., 2 nd ed., (1999 (or latest ed.)). 21. Hillier, Tim, Sourcebook on Public International law, Cavendish Publishing Ltd., (1998 (or latest ed.)). 22. MacLean, R.M., Public International Law, 18 th ed., (1996/97 (or latest ed.)). 23. Malanczuk, Peter, Akhurst's Modern Introduction on International Law, 8 th Rev. Ed., London: Routledge (2003). 24. Malanczuk, Peter, Key Documents in International law, London: Routledge (2003). 25. McCorquodale, Robert, Self-Determination in International Law, Ashgate (2000). 26. Oppenheim, L.F.L., Oppenheim's International Law, Eds., Jennings, Robert and Watts, Arthur, 9 th ed, London: Longman, (2008 (or latest ed.)), Vol. 1. 27. Sands, Philippe and Klein, Pierre, Bowett's Law of International Institutions, 5 th ed., London: Sweet & Maxwell, (2001) 28. Shaw, Malcolm N., International Law, Cambridge University press, 6 th ed., (2008) (or latest ed.). 29. Starke, J.G., Introduction to International Law, Butterworths, 10 th ed., (1997) (or latest ed.). Yee, Sienho and Teiya, Wang (Eds), International Law in the Post-Cold War World, London: Routledge, (2001).

Transferrable Skills

Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation The ability to identify issues, assimilate, evaluate and analyse information to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Solving well defined (typically hypothetical) problems through essay and group discussion; b7 Managing, analysing and rating legal sources in essay; b7 Preparing a summary of selected legal cases from a variety of national and International jurisdictions; b7 Application of law from a variety of jurisdictions and problem-solving in their legal context. Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Meeting deadlines for assessment including an essay and individual presentation. b7 Preparing assessed presentation in seminars at a particular agreed time; b7 Accessing materials via a variety of GCU online sources; b7 identifying and accessing primary and secondary source materials in a variety of legal national and international jurisdictions; b7 completion of preparatory work for seminars b7 participation in seminar discussions and group work. Communication and Literacy The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic within the prescribed time frame. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 presenting written and oral arguments in relation to aspects of Contemporary Issues in International law in a clear and cogent manner both to those within the discipline and also to a non-specialist audience, b7 responding to relevant questions and situations appropriately, b7 using plain English and legal terminology accurately in complex arguments when writing essays and other formal exercises, b7 contributing in seminars and presentation; b7 using accurate referencing and citation. Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork -11 Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by E-mail. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Word processed essays; b7 Use of Internet and online research to identify legal materials for seminar and essay; b7 Seminar tasks requiring retrieval of information using electronic legal databases from variety of legal jurisdictions including Westlaw and other specialist websites; b7 Email Communication; b7 Participation in seminar and group discussions.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00
Independent Learning (FT) 116.00
Seminars (FT) 22.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 0.00 30.00 35% Essay (2,000 words) Week 6
Coursework 2 0.00 20.00 35% Presentation ( W3-11)
Coursework 3 0.00 50.00 35% Essay (3500 words) (W12)