Advanced International Law LAW2031

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the character, role, and function of international law in the context of the existing system of international relations. It is intended as a transitional course between Public International Law (LAW 1006) and the specialised international law courses taught at the Honours level.


Weekly two-hour lectures and three one-hour tutorials spread across the semester

Requirements of Entry

A pass in Public International Law (LAW 1006) or equivalent for visiting students.

Excluded Courses





Essay - 1,500 words (25% of the final mark); one two-hour exam (75% of the final mark)

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

■ to provide a more systematic and comprehensive overview of the contemporary international legal system and principal institutional and normative factors that govern its operation;

■ to provide a fuller and deeper understanding of the general character and main characteristics of the existing international legal order, its constitutive principles, processes, and institutional elements;

■ to introduce the students to different theoretical paradigms about international law to help them better understand the function of international law and its limits in the context of contemporary global political processes;

■ to deepen the students' understanding of various specialised branches of international law and their dynamic relationship with one another;

■ to aid students in further developing their critical analytical skills and to facilitate the general development of their group-work, oral communication, written presentation, and information processing skills

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ demonstrate a systematic understanding of the basic structure, processes, and participants of the contemporary international legal system;

■ demonstrate an understanding of the general character of the existing international legal order, its institutional architecture, and leading constitutional features;

■ explain and assess the relationship between different specialised branches of international law;

■ understand different theoretical accounts of international law, its relationship with politics, and its role in the formation of the global political order;

■ develop and defend an informed opinion and express themselves clearly in writing on the above issues.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.