Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject provides foundational knowledge and skills concerning international law and international organisations for postgraduate coursework students. It examines how they are playing an important part in regulating human activity, both within and between states, and the implications for the theory and practice of state sovereignty and international relations in a rapidly changing world. 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. 

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorJasmine-Kim Westendorf

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Enrolment in the Master of International Relations or nested degrees


Incompatible subjects POL3ILO or POL2IOL

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsInternational law: classic and contemporary readingsRecommendedKu, C. and Diehl, P.F. (eds)LYNNE RIENNER 1998
ReadingsInternational organizationsRecommendedArcher, C.3RD EDN. ROUTLEDGE 2001
ReadingsUnderstanding international lawRecommendedHenderson, C. W.WILEY-BLACKWELL 2010

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Understand the international political and security environment, including the roles, inter-relationship and function of international law and international organisations.

Take-home exam, research essay, seminar presentations, group work, feedback on assessments

02. Critically analyse the means by which international law is developed, implemented and challenged in the context of international organisations.

Take-home exam, research essay, group work

03. Apply advanced theoretical knowledge and research skills to develop complex and coherent analyses of key issues in international law and organisation.

Research Essay, take-home exam

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2020, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorJasmine-Kim Westendorf

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 10 - 22
One 3.0 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 elementComments% ILO*
One 3000-word research essayThis requires students to research and write an essay on a key question provided by the subject coordinator.65 01, 02, 03
One 1500 word take-home examinationThis requires students to write on a key issue of international law and organisation within a short, specified timeframe.35 01, 02, 03