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    Gives a foundation in the basic principles of international law and examines the role of legal principles in world affairs on topics such as the use of force, law of the sea, self-determination, and human rights.

    International law is an important discipline to add to the understanding of international events. It touches not only on issues between sovereign states (e.g. use of force), but also between individuals and sovereign states - sometimes their own states (e.g. self-determination) and sometimes not (e.g. human rights) - and between individuals in separate sovereign states (e.g. private international law).

    This paper concentrates on giving students an intense introduction to the sources and application of international law, with an emphasis on using research in international law to better understand issues between sovereign states. It is an integral component to the multi-disciplinary approach to international studies, which is central to the Master of International Studies degree.

    About this paper

    Paper title International Legal Issues
    Subject International Studies
    EFTS 0.25
    Points 30 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $2,223.25
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to
    Teaching staff

    Mr Jim Guest

    Paper Structure

    The first half of the paper is largely taught, although students are expected to read and absorb materials (both primary sources and text extracts) that are published on Blackboard. The second half of the paper has students presenting half-hour seminars on a wide variety of topics with both political and international law.

    Teaching Arrangements
    Classes are held on campus twice a week in the first semester.

    Reading materials are distributed via Blackboard. These include treaties, extracts from texts, state papers, media extracts and articles free of charge.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper should be able to demonstrate with confidence the following skills:

    • To be familiar with international law materials available in the Law Library and on the Internet and be able to locate and analyse primary materials, such as treaties and court decisions
    • To understand the basic substantive principles of international law and be able to identify the relevance and applicability of those principles to given fact situations, such as currently occurring international issues
    • To be able to apply the skills in analysing international events from a new perspective
    • To be able to meaningfully contribute to academic roles, political and diplomatic positions, and as consultants to international businesses


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
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