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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Making International Law (LAWS11485)

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 will explore the complex and subtle art of international law-making. Focusing on the variable actors and multilateral processes that monitor, add to and adjudicate questions of international law, one of the core aims of the course is strengthening the student's understanding of how new rules are created and how existing rules develop along with the global community in the context of shared values. In exploring these issues, students will critically examine questions relating to legitimacy and coherence of the international system. Students will compare approaches across different fields of international law and consider how variances feed into debates about fragmentation and enforcement. The class will complement the wider range of issues covered in Fundamental Issues in International Law.
Course description Seminars
1. Introduction to the Sources of International Law
2. Actors in the International System
3. Diplomatic Processes I
4. Diplomatic Processes II
5. The International Law Commission
6. Law-making by International Organisations
7. Law-making by International Organisations
8. Law-making by International Courts and Tribunals
9. Challenges Posed by Global Security
10. Challenges Posed by Global Problems
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment will have two component parts:
1. Oral presentation of thesis based on the assigned role in a 3 minute thesis style = 20%
2. 4000 word essay = 80%
Feedback The formative assessment will have students develop a preliminary bibliography and outline of key issues their selected essay topic. All assessments over the semester will be focused on the different aspects of an international negotiation with the subject matter of the agreement voted on by the class.

Each member of the class will be assigned a different role from a range options: diplomats, international organisation representatives, NGO representatives, etc. Each assessment, including the formative, will correlate with the role of the individual in the context of developing an international agreement on the class-determined subject-matter.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. critically understand the principle theories and concepts underpinning international law-making
  2. be critically aware of the current issues related to the development and use of variable sources of international law
Reading List
There will be one primary text: AE Boyle and C Chinkin, The Making of International Law (OUP 2007), which is already held by the library and can be supplemented with E-books.

Journal articles will be the secondary assigned readings. The following is an indicative list of journal titles, to which the library already holds a subscription:
European Journal of International Law
American Journal of International Law
British Yearbook of International Law
International and Comparative Law Quarterly
Journal of the History of International Law
American Journal of Comparative Law
Harvard International Law Journal
European Journal of International Relations
International Journal of Constitutional Law
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will be able to plan and execute a research project.
Critical research skills will be developed.
Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues.
Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in a subject/discipline/
Deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or
Consistent information

Individual assessed work will allow the students to exercise personal autonomy and professional delivery of research findings.
Advanced critical research and communication skills.
Advanced written and oral communication of complex legal issues.
Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise
Plan and execute a research project using a variety of international legal materials.
Take responsibility for own work
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Kasey McCall-Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 4524
Course secretaryMs Susanna Wickes
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