Postgraduate taught 

International Law LLM

International Law and International Security LAW5130

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will deal with the legal regulation of international security. After a historical overview from the Concert of Europe to the League of Nations, it will concentrate on the current system built around the United Nations. More specifically, it will focus on the prohibition on the use of force, the right to self-defence, humanitarian intervention and pro-democratic interventions, legal responses to terrorism as well as collective actions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. In this respect it will consider the law that applies to sanctions, peacekeeping operations, peace-building operations, authorisations as well as the legal regime that applies to regional organisations. The study of the above issues will be supported by investigations into current or past events such as the Kosovo case, the Gulf wars and so on. The course will also examine the role of law in providing for human security in cases of armed conflict in particular the legal regime that applies to combatants and to civilians in view of the changing nature of security.


10 x 2 hour seminars in semester 1.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed by an essay of 1500 words (25%) and a 2 hour final examination (75%).

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide students with a critical understanding of the role of law in providing for and in managing international security by examining the legal framework that applies to security actors, instruments and resources.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and awareness of the legal and political framework relating to international security;

2. Demonstrate critical understanding of the role of law in international security and of its relationship with politics;

3. apply legal rules to concrete situations;

4. evaluate the efficacy of legal rules and mechanisms in managing international security.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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