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Unit information: General Principles of International Law in 2015/16

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Unit name General Principles of International Law
Unit code LAWDM0026
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Capps
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces students to the basic features and building blocks of the international legal system. The unit considers where international law comes from (the sources of international law, including the law of treaties); the bodies that are objects of international legal regulation (international personality, including issues of statehood and recognition); the principles by which a state can exercise its authority over other individuals and states (jurisdiction); the situations in which a state does not exercise such jurisdiction (including state, head of state and diplomatic immunity); and looks at the circumstances in which a state will be liable under international law both for its own acts and the acts of those subject to its jurisdiction (state responsibility). All these issues will be examined in the light of current concerns within the international community. Through all of this runs the general question of what is international law for?

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students are expected to be able to achieve the following:

a)identify and understand the general principles of international law

b)critically analyse these general principles from a variety of perspectives

c)apply general principles to hypothetical problems

d) use the case-law of the International Court as a guide in advising governments and international organizations;

e) The examination includes both problem type and essay type questions, designed to assess both whether students were able to understand and apply the law across the breadth of the syllabus, and whether they were able to think critically about it.

Teaching Information

11, 2 hour seminars

Assessment Information

One three-hour closed book examination in May/June, in which students answer 4 questions from a choice of 10 or 11 questions. The assessment will assess all the intended learning outcomes for this unit. Formative - students should do one formative assessment and may do two

Reading and References

Evans (ed.), International Law (4th Ed., 2014)