Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In an increasingly interdependent world, international law and international organisations are playing an important part in regulating human activity, both within and between states. In this subject students examine this trend, and its implications for the theory and practice of state sovereignty and international relations in a rapidly changing world. The trend is then considered with reference to developments in international law and organisations since 1945. Special attention is directed to the role of international organisations in conflict resolution, the laws of war, humanitarian law, international environmental law and the law of the sea, and refugee law. How effective is international law at regulating state and human behaviour? What role do international organisations play in the development and enforcement of international laws and norms? And how could international law and organisations more effectively regulate the excesses of sovereign states?

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorJasmine-Kim Westendorf

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesTake-home exam, research essay, online exercises.

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 15 credit points of any first year Politics subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject, or subject coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjectsPOL3ILO

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

International law: classic and contemporary readings

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorKu, C. and Diehl, P.F.





Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Understanding international law

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorHenderson, C. W.





Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

International organizations

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorArcher, C.


Edition/Volume3RD EDN



Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. To be able to critically analyse and report on the international political and security environment, with a sophisticated understanding of the roles, inter-relationship and function of international law and international organisations.
02. To be able to develop complex and coherent arguments and analyses of the means by which international law is developed, implemented and challenged in the context of international organisations in a nuanced and critically engaged manner.
03. To be able to participate meaningfully in discussions and debates on issues of contemporary policy relevance, and provide recommendations on policy directions.
04. To be able to read and research critically on international law, international organisations and international relations.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorJasmine-Kim Westendorf

Class requirements

SeminarWeek: 10 - 22
One 3.00 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.
This is an interactive seminar so we require a seminar appropriate space, with projector and presentation facilities, AV facilities, flat floor, room for students to move around and work in small groups.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Weekly online group exercises (equivalent to 800 words)

N/AOtherGroupNo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3

One 2000-word research essay

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo50 SILO1, SILO2, SILO4

One 1200 word take-home examination

N/AOther written examIndividualNo30 SILO1, SILO2, SILO4