Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module LAW52345: Current Problems of International Law

Department: Law

LAW52345: Current Problems of International Law

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 45 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to M1K216


  • None


  • Fundamentals of International Law (LAW52245)

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The course aims to provide an in-depth study of selected problems of international law, as well as the theory and philosophy of certain aspects of international law.


  • current legal problems such as the use of force and the law of armed conflict in certain regions of the world; powers of the UN Security Council and of the International Court of Justice;
  • selected issues of the Law of the Sea as such as jurisdictional aspects of the EEZ and the airspace above it;
  • state responsibility; self-determination; international terrorism;
  • extradition, abduction & luring of accused persons;
  • normality in international law;
  • protection of common interests by international law.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the course students should:
  • have developed a critical understanding of the fundamental problems of theory and philosophy of international law.
  • have an in-depth knowledge of the substantive rules of international law as seen in certain current legal problems.
Subject-specific Skills:
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Lectures are designed to provide a structure for the course and to introduce basic principles and features of the international legal order relevant to the selected problems.
    • Seminars provide opportunity for the exploration and discussion of the selected current legal problems of international law.
    • Written work requires a demonstration of students' analytical, problem-solving and communication skills.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Lectures 20 Weekly 1 20
    Seminars 14 Weekly with a few reading weeks in between 2 28
    Preparation and Reading 402
    Total 450

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Essay Component Weighting: 25%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Essay 4,000 word 100%
    Component: Unseen Examination Component Weighting: 75%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Unseen Examination 3 hours 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    One assignment of approximately 2000 words in Michaelmas Term.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University