University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: International Law A: The Individual and International Law (LAWS10048)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course is designed to develop skills of legal research, writing and analysis, by means of the study of various selected topics of international law which relate to the position of individuals in international law - and to the ways in which modern international law has evolved, and is continuing to evolve, to deal more effectively with the protection and the responsibility of individuals within States.
Course description The Course will consider selected topics concerning the role of the individual in international affairs. The course will deal with such topics as: diplomatic protection of nationals abroad, state immunity, the foreign act of state doctrine, expropriation of property, jurisdiction of states over crimes (including crimes at sea), international cooperation in the administration of justice, international human rights law and international criminal law. The choice of topics will follow a rough chronological arc, and will be such as to provide students with a cross-cutting overview of several branches of international law.

The 19 sessions will engage with the following topics:

1. Introductory session ┐ overview of the course
2. International Legal Personality of Individuals
3. Jurisdiction I
4. Jurisdiction II
5. Personal Immunities
6. Immunities of States
7. Development/institutions of international criminal law I
8. Development/institutions of international criminal law
9. The role of individuals in investment disputes
10. The role of human rights in investment disputes
11. Introduction to Human Rights: Theories and Origins
12. Human Rights: International and Regional Institutional Frameworks
13. Human Rights and Development: The Role of NGOs in protecting individuals
14. Human Rights and the Corporation
15. Diplomatic Protection
16. International Crimes 1
17. International Crimes 2
18. International Crimes 3
19. Current Issues in International Law - the future of the individual
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: International Law (IR) (LAWS08110) OR International Law Ordinary (semester 1) (LAWS08114)
Co-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students also take International Law and Global Affairs (LAWS10171)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 38, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 351 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay (40%) and Exam in April/May diet (60%)
Feedback Students have the opportunity to undertake a practice assignment. It allows students to get feedback. Completion of the formative assessment is voluntary; the topics are distributed during week the semester and students have two weeks to complete the assignment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Paper 13:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Know and apply substantive and procedural rules of international law. This includes the ability to assess and evaluate critically the responsibility of States and private entities under several regimes of international law.
  2. See the big picture and appreciate the role of law in the global society. This course endows the students with the ability to interpret the legal foundations and implications global political, economic and social trends. To a more limited extent, students are encouraged to analyse the necessity of legal reforms, and provide workable suggestions. Since the topics are selected for their relevance to a specific issue (i.e., the role of the individual), they can appear inhomogeneous and therefore students must always be apprised of the overall international legal system in order to gain an organic understanding.
  3. Use lawyering skills. Students will be exposed to tasks and activities that hone their transferrable skills and prove useful in their career-path. These tasks include: parsing long documents, decoding scholarly commentary, engaging in legal hermeneutics, assessing litigation strategies, inferring general trends, identifying historical considerations, weighing conflicting interests, arguing in public.
  4. Think critically. Besides understanding and memorising materials, students are trained to question received knowledge. This process is based on the study of advanced commentaries and the discussion with the colleagues and the lecturers. The lecturers moderate the discussion so as to maximise the students┐ critical skills.
  5. Form personal views and share them with an audience. In-class participation is designed to encourage the formulation of personal ideas. The discussion format will support and train to confrontation and exchange of ideas. Clarity and incisiveness are crucial to fully benefit from in-class discussion (oral communication) and fare well in the assessment (written communication).
Reading List
There is a single prescribed book for the course, from which at least half of the classes will draw readings.

K Parlett, The Individual in the International Legal System: Continuity and Change in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Students new to international law are encouraged to familiarise themselves with a good textbook on the topic. The following books are useful for an introduction to the field and for further reading:

A Cassese, International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, 2nd ed)

J Crawford & M Koskenniemi (eds), The Cambridge Companion to International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

M D Evans (ed), International Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 3rd ed)

D Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law 7th edition (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2010)

M N Shaw, International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, 6th ed) [note: new edition announced for September 2014]
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsInternational Law,Individual,Global Affairs
Course organiserDr Paul Behrens
Course secretaryMs Krystal Hanley
Tel: (0131 6)50 2056
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information