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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAWM024
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BREAU SC Dr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability

1st Semester


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting towards Module Mark (%)










Module Overview

This module focuses on the institutional legal aspects of the activities displayed by international organisations and the relationship of these activities to the methods and sources of public international law.





Module Aims

The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the international legal aspects of international istitutions and to enable students to familiarize themselves with the core principles of selected areas of United Nations law.  It also aims to develop student’s analytical skills through identifying and attempting to resolve legal problems relating to the United Nations and its members states.


Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of this module are:


·             Knowledge of the history and structure of the United Nations and its sister international organisations


·             Understanding the various theories that explain why States engage in international law and organisation


·             Understanding the scope of the law of international organisations and its impact on the law of Member States


·             Understanding the relationship between the law of international organisations and the formation of public international law


·             To critically evaluate the function of the International Court of Justice within the international legal system


·             To be able to critically evaluate the conduct of international organisations with the context of the rules of public international law


Module Content

·             The concept of International legal personality and the theory of international organisation within public international law


·             The Charter of the United Nations and the Constitutional Structure of the United Nations


·             The legal regulation of membership of the United Nations including admission, representation and succession


·             Structure and procedure of the General Assembly of the United Nations including resolutions, (binding) decisions, and recommendations and the practice of the General Assembly in the formation of public international law particularly relating to declarations of the General Assembly


·             Structure and voting procedure in the Security Council, including an examination of the veto power of the Permanent members of the Council and how binding Security Council resolutions relate to the formation of public international law


·             The activities of the Security Council in the legal regulation of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism


·             The activities of the Security Council and General Assembly in the regulation of peace and security and the ongoing debate concerning economic sanctions regimes


·             The Secretariat: powers of the Secretary General, the role of the international civil service and the privileges and immunities of employees of international organisations


·             The International Court of Justice: problems of use and jurisdiction, its role in dispute settlement, its advisory function and its relationship to the political organs of the United Nations


·             The process of reform and an examination of the Peacebuilding Commission


·             Other international institutions including an examination of international financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund


Methods of Teaching/Learning

8 x 3-hour seminars.  The seminars will be interactive and students will be expected to come prepared for the seminar and engage actively in discussions


Selected Texts/Journals

Essential reading


White, N. The Law of International Organisations (2nd Edition, Manchester University Press, 2005)



Background reading


Klabbers, J. An Introduction to International Institutions Law ( Cambridge University Press, 2006)


Simma, B. Charter of the United Nations, A Commentary (2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2002) (reference)





Journal of Conflict and Security Law


American Journal of International Law


European Journal of International Law


International Comparative and Legal Quarterly


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