LAWHONS 736 - Topics in International Law

Credit points: 20 points
Offered: Full-year
Contact hours: Lectures - 2 hours per week
Course Coordinators: Associate Professor Treasa Dunworth and Dr Anna Hood
Corequisite: LAW 435 or LAWPUBL 402

Course description

This seminar aims to foster in students a critical understanding of the theories, structures, institutions and doctrines of public international law. Taking as its starting point the centenary of the end of the First World War, the seminar takes a long view of international law. What did the international law of the League era look like? Is today’s United Nations the best we can do? What are the ways in which international law is changing and are these changes problematic or to be welcomed? How might we hold contemporary global governance structures to account? What is the role of non-state actors in international law making and implementation? Can we imagine what the “international law” honours seminar will look like in another 100 years?

The first semester will consist of lecturer-led discussions on set readings covering topics that touch on the above questions. In this way, students will be exposed to concrete issues in international law, as well as developing a more critical appreciation of the international legal system. There will also be classes devoted to assisting students in selecting research topics and managing their writing project. Students will be expected to meet with me individually to discuss their research plans.

The second semester will be a series of student-led seminars on their chosen topics, which can be in any area of international law, subject to my approval.


Attendance and participation 20%; 10,000 word research paper 80%.