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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAWM073
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: KAIME T Dr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)


Exam (3000 word assignment)






Qualifying Condition(s) 


Overall mark of 50%


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. There will be a particular focus on the law of the United Nations and the function and powers of the International Court of Justice.


The aim of the course is to provide an understanding of the international legal aspects of international institutions 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 member states.
Module Aims
The module will allow you to critically engage in all the questions related to the linkages between Law, International Trade and Development. Getting acquainted with the international legal norms and policies that relate to development will open you a number of important working opportunities. Experts in international financial, trade or investment law with knowledge of the development side of the equation are working in international law firms, in consultancy, in non-governmental organisations and in the public sector, both at national and international level.
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 organization;


·        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 within 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. It will introduce the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitutional Structure of the United Nations; including 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 International Court of Justice: problems of use and jurisdiction; its role in dispute settlement; and its advisory function and its relationship to the political organs of the United Nations;


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


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


·        Regional organisations and their relationship with the UN, the issue of delegation of UN powers.


·        The process of reform in the United Nations; examining various reports recommending reform and an examination of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Teaching will follow a dual approach. In every session the lecturer will give some pointers highlighting the main issues that must be studied. This will be followed by a discussion with the students on the reading. Some questions will be given out by the lecturer to guide the discussion. Learning will be achieved not only by preparing the lectures but by some parallel activities that will foster the interest of the students for the topic. The students will also after the first two sessions be assigned presentations to prepare on topics on the course.


Selected Texts/Journals



Required text:


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



Recommended texts:


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


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


Recommended journals


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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