University of Technology Sydney

70108 Public International Law

Requisite(s): 70616 Australian Constitutional Law OR 70110 Introduction to Law
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 70106 Principles of Public International Law AND 70116 Principles of Public International Law


International law is a well-established branch of law with a wide scope of application and far-reaching implications for States, individuals and entities. International law differs from other legal systems because of its horizontal nature and its distinct sources and subjects. This horizontal characteristic is based on the fact that States, the primary subjects of international law, are legally equal. It is States that create international law through treaty and custom, the principal source of rights and obligations. International law can thus be contrasted to domestic legal systems, in which laws created by a central legislature bind natural and legal persons, and where higher courts subordinate lower courts.

This subject pays particular attention to the development of law through the machinery of the United Nations in its relationship with States, other international organisations, entities and individuals. Topics explored include: the sources of international law; the relationship of international law to national law; personality and recognition; jurisdiction and immunities; law of treaties; State responsibility; settlement of international disputes; and use of force.

In this advanced-level, core subject students collaborate in preparing and presenting case studies to develop their oral communication skills. Students also develop and refine their research skills using public international law sources, critical analysis skills and written communication skills through the essay. Students develop their analytical and written communication skills through the practical application of the rules of public international law to weekly case studies and/or problem scenarios during session and in the final examination.

Detailed subject description.

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Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.