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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Diplomatic Law (LAWS11319)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course deals with one of the oldest branches of international law: the law relating to representatives of States (which in the more recent past was expanded to cover representatives of international organisations and of sub-national entities as well). The course will deal with privileges and immunities, but also with questions relating to duties and functions. It will address the law as it applies to permanent diplomats and ad hoc diplomats, but also consular agents.
Course description The course will be taught through seminars, which include introductions to key topics of relevance to diplomatic and consular law and general discussion, including on particular case studies. The seminars will thus cover aspects such as the sources of diplomatic law, property immunities and personal immunities, diplomatic asylum and the diplomatic bag, but also an overview of aspects of consular law.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Accurately assess and critically comment upon the concept and elements of diplomatic law and consular law and their interplay with other norms of international law, e.g Human Rights.
  2. Identify and critically appraise the role played by consuls and diplomats in international affairs.
  3. Critically evaluate the main theories relating to consular and diplomatic immunity
  4. Demonstrate an appropriate level of research skills in locating and evaluating instruments on diplomatic and consular law, academic opinion and sources on the factual background of these areas.
  5. Solve problems utilising the knowledge gained from the various seminars and work effectively as part of a group towards this end.
Reading List
There is no single text which covers the whole breadth of the course. However, reference will frequently be made to the following key texts:

Paul Behrens (ed), Diplomatic Law in a New Millennium (Oxford University Press 2017)

Eileen Denza, Diplomatic Law: Commentary on the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 4th ed (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Lee / Quigley, Consular Law and Practice, Oxford 2008

Roberts, Ivor, Satow's Diplomatic Practice, 6th ed (Oxford 2018)

As new editions of these texts become available, requests will be made to the library to acquire these.

Additional reading lists will be published for the individual seminars. They will mainly contain articles which are available on Westlaw International or Hein Online, to which Edinburgh University has access.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will develop students' abilities in handling the relevant sources and materials of diplomatic and consular law. Students should acquire evaluative skills which will be developed through practice of analysing academic opinion and materials in these fields and assessing their value, and participating in group seminar discussion. Students will also be able to acquire problem-solving techniques on issues in the areas studied.

Oral communication is developed in particular through the use of presentations delivered by students as part of their assessments, research skills are developed through the research paper and through work for each seminar.
Special Arrangements n/a
Study Abroad n/a
Additional Class Delivery Information Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
KeywordsDiplomacy,International Law,Consuls,Diplomats,Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,Vienna
Course organiserDr Paul Behrens
Course secretaryMiss Chloe Culross
Tel: (0131 6)50 9588
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