Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Foundations of International Law (EM) LAW5192

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The aim of the present course is to cover what might be called the 'general part' of International Law. The focus of the course is on core areas of the discipline such as international legal personality, sources of law, the law of treaties or responsibility for wrongful conduct.


10 x 2 hour seminars over semester 1

Requirements of Entry

The course is open to all EMJMD ILGSPD students subject to the requirements of the programme.

Excluded Courses





5,000 word essay (100%)

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to offer a challenging forum in which fundamental aspects of international law can be investigated and analysed critically. In particular, the course aims to:

provide the students with a solid understanding of the nature, sources, and structure of modern international law, introduce them to its main subject areas, and explore in-depth a number of core issues in the field of contemporary international legal order;

develop a more critical and reflective approach to a number of related theoretical and doctrinal questions in various areas of modern international law;

provide students with experience of working in groups and foster group discussion;

encourage independent reading; and

develop research skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

■ understand the nature, sources, and structure of modern international law and have a critical understanding of its fundamental concepts;

■ be able to identify and critically assess the implications of those concepts in the substantive exposition of various issues of contemporary international governance;

■ be better able to analyse an international legal problem, identify the applicable legal rules, and critically assess various related doctrinal issues;

■ demonstrate an in-depth understanding of various international legal instruments; and

■ demonstrate cognisance of the interface between different aspects of the contemporary international order.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Generic regulations apply.