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2022 Spring

PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW - LEG246/B Spring 2022


Course
Carollann Braum
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

This course will introduce students to the concepts of international law, focusing not only on the legal relationship between countries, but also on the roles of the United Nations, international nongovernmental organizations, and individuals in international relations and law. Focusing primarily on the Twentieth Century, students will gain an understanding of the sources of international law and how international law has developed, with particular emphasis on the role that international events, such as the World Wars and the Cold War, played in the development of international law. This course will cover areas such as human rights, the laws of war and conflict, environmental law, the roles of international and domestic courts in international law, treaties and legal agreements between countries. The “real-world” implications and applications of international law will be a priority so that students will gain a deeper understanding of the impact of law on individuals, groups of people, and society.

 The aim of this course will be to give students a basic understanding of how international law operates; to provide a critique of the role and impact of power differences in international law and international relations and an understanding of the limitations created by this; to demonstrate the challenges and benefits of different methods of resolving disputes between countries. Finally, students will have the opportunity to apply each of the above aims will be applied to modern international problems and current events.

Public International Law

Course code: LEG 246/A

Semester and year: Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Day and time: Fridays 12:30-15:15

Instructor: Carollann Braum

Instructor contact: Carollann.braum@aaun.edu

Consultation hours: Thursday 10:30-11:30 by appointment, MS Teams by appointment

Meeting: Room 2.03 and MS Teams

 

 

Credits US/ECTS

3.75/7.5

Level

Intermediate

Length

15 weeks

Pre-requisite

Level 6 LLB

Contact hours

42 hours

Course type

Bachelor Required

 

1. Course Description

 This course will introduce students to the concepts of international law, focusing not only on the legal relationship between countries, but also on the roles of the United Nations, international nongovernmental organizations, and individuals in international relations and law. Focusing primarily on the Twentieth Century, students will gain an understanding of the sources of international law and how international law has developed, with particular emphasis on the role that international events, such as the World Wars and the Cold War, played in the development of international law. This course will cover areas such as human rights, the laws of war and conflict, environmental law, the roles of international and domestic courts in international law, treaties and legal agreements between countries. The “real-world” implications and applications of international law will be a priority so that students will gain a deeper understanding of the impact of law on individuals, groups of people, and society.

 The aim of this course will be to give students a basic understanding of how international law operates; to provide a critique of the role and impact of power differences in international law and international relations and an understanding of the limitations created by this; to demonstrate the challenges and benefits of different methods of resolving disputes between countries. Finally, students will have the opportunity to apply each of the above aims will be applied to modern international problems and current events.

 

UOL MODULE PURPOSE AND OVERVIEW

Public international law is offered as an optional module to students studying on the Standard Entry and Graduate Entry LLB courses. It is also offered as an Individual module. Credits from an Individual module will not count towards the requirements of the LLB. Public international law primarily concerns legal relations between states but it is also concerned with the role of the UN and other international organisations and their legal relations and, in the fields of human rights and international criminal law, is concerned with the rights and duties of individuals.

 

UOL MODULE AIM

This module will: (a) provide a basic but substantial understanding of the rules and procedure of international law; (b) provide a critique of the relationship between political power and international law; (c) provide an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of international law in dispute avoidance and resolution; and (d) consider the application of the above to contemporary international problems.

 

2. Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

 

  • Describe the principal sources of international law and explain how these have come into being.
  • Make effective use of relevant cases and treaties in support of legal arguments in relevant cases and situations.
  • Use appropriate legal terminology and language with reasonable confidence and accuracy
  • Compare and contrast international law and domestic law.
  • Identify the types of jurisdiction courts have over places and persons.
  • Understand how disputes and conflicts can be resolved between countries through different mechanisms (such as through courts, diplomatic negotiations, and mediation through international organizations)
  • Have awareness of how political realities, including historical contexts, religious and cultural beliefs, and economic factors, can impact international law.

 

UOL LEARNING OUTCOMES: KNOWLEDGE

Students completing this module are expected to have knowledge and understanding of the main concepts and principles of public international law. In particular, they should be able to demonstrate:

 

  1. An appreciation of the significant differences and similarities of international law and domestic law;
  2. An understanding of the methodology and procedures of international law and the possibilities it provides for international dispute resolution;
  3. An awareness of how and why it is that political realities often constrain the application of international law and marginalise it where it might have been thought to be at its clearest and most significant.

 

UOL LEARNING OUTCOMES: SKILLS

In addition to the skills developed at Level 4, students are expected to be able to demonstrate an ability to:

 

  1. Apply their knowledge to analyse complex legal questions and problems;
  2. Critique a range of legal materials and arguments;
  3. Conduct complex research exercises and use research evidence appropriately to support arguments

 

3. Reading Material

Required:

Public International Law UOL Module Guide

Module guides are the students’ primary learning resource. The module guide covers the syllabus and provides the student with the grounding to complete the module successfully. The module descriptor contained in the guide sets out the learning outcomes that must be achieved. The guide also includes the core, essential and further reading and a series of activities together with sample examination questions, designed to enable students to test their understanding. The module guide is supplemented each year with the pre-exam update, made available on the VLE.

Core statutes on international law 2021–22 (Palgrave Macmillan).

Mansell, W. and K. Openshaw International law: a critical introduction. (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2019) second edition [ISBN 9781509926725].

Wallace, R. and O. Martin-Ortega International law. (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2020) ninth edition [ISBN 9780414070790].

International Court Cases

Most available on the International Court of Justice website, including summaries and full text: https://www.icj-cij.org/en/list-of-all-cases

International Treaties and documents

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library is at: www1.umn.edu/humanrts/

 

Recommended:

Verones, C. and S. Rosselet, The Public International Law Study Guide for Students: Exercises and Answers. Hart Publishing (2013).

Blackstone’s International Law Documents. Oxford University Press, 15th ed. (2021).

Useful case summaries available at: https://ruwanthikagunaratne.wordpress.com/

 

4. Teaching methodology

The course consists of lectures, readings, and discussions in class. The course is taught interactively, based heavily on vigorous class discussions, with emphasis being placed on how to read and understand international law cases, treaties, and other documents, particularly considering their historical and political contexts, as well as identifying their role in the development of international law. An strong emphasis will be placed on discussing the facts behind court cases with a “real-world” focus that will enable the students to fully understand and comprehend the impact that international law has on the lives of people and groups of people. The University of London Module Guide and corresponding texts will be used regularly as a basis of class discussions.

 

5. Course Schedule

 

Date

Class Agenda

Reading

All Reading will be posted on NEO

September 3 & 10

Topic: Introduction and the Distinctive Nature of International Law

Description: Introducing the differences between international law and domestic law; how international law is different than, but integrated with, international relations, the development and changing nature of international law

September 10 & 17

Topic: Sources and Method of International Law

Description: Development of international law, particularly considering historical contexts and events; the role of international treaties and cases in international law; the role of customary international law and jus cogens.

Sept. 24 & Oct. 1

Topic: The Dynamic Quality of International Law

Description: Understanding sovereignty and how countries interact with each other; the roles individuals and groups of people play in international law

October 8 & 15

Topic: Jurisdiction in International Law

Description: Understanding jurisdiction of courts, both domestic and international, including when, why and how a country might have jurisdiction; the different types of jurisdiction over people and places; looking at challenges to jurisdiction; controversies and types of immunity.

 

October 22 & Nov. 5

(*NO CLASS OCT. 29)

Topic: Law of Treaties

Description: Understanding what treaties are and what role they play in international law, including when and why they should or must be followed and enforced; understanding exceptions to treaties, and when, why, and how countries might have reservations.

 

November 12 & 19

Topic: Self-Determination and Territories

Description: Understanding the role that groups of people and the land they live on play in international law; the importance of self-determination in international law; situations when self-determination has been violated; the role of self-determination in decolonization.

 

November

26 & Dec 3

Review

Dec. 10

Mock Exam

January 21 & 28

Topic: Peaceful Settlement of Disputes

Description: Different methods for resolving disputes and conflicts in international law, including court cases, arbitration, negotiations, and mediation. Particular focus will be on the development and cases of the International Court of Justice (which includes landmark international law cases) and how this has helped shaped international law.

February  4 & 11

Topic:  Use of force and the Laws of War (Humanitarian Law)

Description: Development of the Law of War, taking into consideration the historical developments and contexts; what is prohibited and permitted in conflict and the different types of conflicts (international and non-international); role of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross; self-defense, insurgencies, terrorism, and the responsibility to protect.

February 18 & 25

Topic: Human Rights in International Law

Description: The role of international law and human rights. Methods for protecting human rights, regional systems, International Bill of Human Rights documents, International Criminal Court.

March 4 & 11

Topic: International Law in the 2000s

Description: Reflection on the developments of international law and how they are functioning today, critiques of international law in the modern world, exploration of how international law might continue to develop.

March 18

Review

March 25

Review

April 1

Mid-Term Break: No Class

April 8-29

Reviews and Practice Exams

 

 

6. Course Requirements and Assessment (with estimated workloads)

Assignment

Workload (average)

Weight in Final Grade

Evaluated Course Specific Learning Outcomes

Evaluated Institutional Learning Outcomes*

LLB students have summative assessments issued solely by the University of London, however they will engage with regular formative assessments. Assessment will be made through weekly reading discussions, as well as on practice writings and practice exams.  Students outside of the LLB program will have a final mark issued.

150

100%

Examination is based on the entire course and all materials covered.

 

1, 2, 3

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

150

100%

 

 

*1 = Critical Thinking; 2 = Effective Communication; 3 = Effective and Responsible Action

 

7. Detailed description of the assignments

Assignment 1:

Assessment breakdown

Assessed area

Percentage

Mock Examination: Negligence (Duty, Breach, Cause, Harm)

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment 2:

Assessment breakdown

Assessed area

Percentage

Mock Exam Article

N/A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. General Requirements and School Policies

General requirements

All coursework is governed by AAU’s academic rules. Students are expected to be familiar with the academic rules available in the Codex and Student Handbook and to maintain the highest standards of honesty and academic integrity in their work.

Electronic communication and submission

The university and instructors shall only use students’ university email address for communication. It is strongly recommended that any email communication between students and instructors take place in NEO LMS.

Each e-mail sent to an instructor that is about a new topic (meaning not a reply to an original email) shall have a new and clearly stated subject and shall have the course code in the subject, for example: “COM101-1 Mid-term Exam. Question”.

All electronic submissions are carried out through NEO LMS. No substantial pieces of writing (especially take home exams and essays) can be submitted outside of NEO LMS.

Attendance

All students will be expected to join the classes either in person or on MS Teams. Attendance will be taken at the beginning and end of each class session. Attendance will be recorded for all students each session on the class NEO page (online learning platform).

AAU requires that all absences must be excused through an official process, which is overseen and approved by the Dean of Students, and then communicated directly to the instructors. Law Students must attend 80% of their courses, per UOL’s requirements, regardless of whether an absences are excused by AAU. Excused absences count as absences. This means students can miss only 20% of your classes, regardless of whether it is excused.

Students attending through MS Teams will be required to actively participate in class discussion at the same level as if they were in person. The instructors will be asking them direct questions and will encourage them to ask questions as well. These questions will be asked spontaneously, as they are in regular in-person classes, to ensure that students are actively paying attention and have come prepared to the classes (this is based on the Socratic Method).

Students that do not respond to the instructor during class will be counted as absent, this way it will ensure that all students are participating in the classes.  If a student must take a break during the class, they will need to note that in the chat function on MS Teams, so that the instructor is aware of how long they are gone.

All MS Teams class sessions will be recorded and posted on MS Teams, so that students may watch the recorded sessions as many times as needed.

Watching a recorded lecture may only count as attendance for LLB students if the absence is excused and the student produces an approximately 500 word document highlighting at least 3 things he/she learned from the lecture. This must be submitted within 72 hours of the missed class session. Before counting it as attendance, the instructor has discretion to follow-up directly with the student to ensure that he/she satisfactorily watched and understood the lecture.

 Absence excuse and make-up options

Should a student be absent from classes for relevant reasons (illness, serious family matters), s/he must submit to the Dean of Students an Absence Excuse Request Form supplemented with documents providing reasons for the absence. The form and documents must be submitted within one week of the absence. If possible, it is recommended the instructor be informed of the absence in advance. Should a student be absent during the add/drop period due to a change in registration this will be an excused absence if s/he submits an Absence Excuse Request Form along with the finalized add/drop form.

Assignments missed due to unexcused absences cannot be made up which may result in a decreased or failing grade as specified in the syllabus.

Students whose absence has been excused by the Dean of Students are entitled to make up assignments and exams provided their nature allows for a make-up. Students are responsible for contacting their instructor within one week of the date the absence was excused to arrange for make-up options.

Late work: No late submissions will be accepted – please follow the deadlines.

Electronic devices

Electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops…) may be used only for class-related activities (taking notes, looking up related information, etc.). Any other use will result in the student being marked absent and/or being expelled from the class. No electronic devices may be used during tests or exams.

Eating is not allowed during classes.

Cheating and disruptive behavior

If a student engages in disruptive or other conduct unsuitable for a classroom environment of an institution of learning, the instructor may require the student to withdraw from the room for the duration of the activity or for the day and shall report the behavior to the Dean.

Students engaging in behavior which is suggestive of cheating (e.g. whispering or passing notes) will, at a minimum, be warned. In the case of continued misbehavior the student will be expelled from the exam and the exam will be marked as failed.

Plagiarism and Academic Tutoring Center

Plagiarism is “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Random House, New York, 1993)

Turnitin’s White Paper ‘The Plagiarism Spectrum’ (available at http://go.turnitin.com/paper/plagiarism-spectrum) identifies 10 types of plagiarism ordered from most to least severe:

  1. CLONE: An act of submitting another’s work, word-for-word, as one’s own.
  2. CTRL-C: A written piece that contains significant portions of text from a single source without alterations.
  3. FIND–REPLACE: The act of changing key words and phrases but retaining the essential content of the source in a paper.
  4. REMIX: An act of paraphrasing from other sources and making the content fit together seamlessly.
  5. RECYCLE: The act of borrowing generously from one’s own previous work without citation; To self-plagiarize.
  6. HYBRID: The act of combining perfectly cited sources with copied passages—without citation—in one paper.
  7. MASHUP: A paper that represents a mix of copied material from several different sources without proper citation.
  8. 404 ERROR: A written piece that includes citations to non-existent or inaccurate information about sources
  9. AGGREGATOR: The “Aggregator” includes proper citation, but the paper contains almost no original work.
  10. RE-TWEET: This paper includes proper citation, but relies too closely on the text’s original wording and/or structure.

 

As the minimum policy the types of plagiarism from 1 through 8 results in the failing grade from the assignment and must be reported to the Dean. The Dean may initiate a disciplinary procedure pursuant to the Academic Codex. Allegations of bought papers and intentional or consistent plagiarism always entail disciplinary hearing and may result in expulsion from AAU.

If unsure about technical aspects of writing, students are encouraged to consult their papers with the tutors of the AAU Academic Tutoring Center. For more information and/or to book a tutor, please contact the ATC at: http://atc.simplybook.me/sheduler/manage/event/1/.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities are asked to contact their instructor as soon as possible to discuss reasonable accommodation..

 

 9. Grading Scale

The criteria of the grading scale are elaborated in the Law School Handbook. Students should review the handbook for a greater understanding of the aspects of each classification. Courses will be marked with a numerical grade while the degree is awarded an honour. Feedback for your formative assessments will indicate an honour level.

 

Grade Translations Table

UK Class of Honours        LLB

U.K. Numerical Grade

U.K. Class of Honours CertHE

ECTS* Grade

 

 

First

70 - 100

Distinction

A

 

 

Upper Second

67 - 69

Merit

A

Upper Second

65 - 66

Merit

B

Upper Second

60 - 64

Merit

B

 

 

Lower Second

55 - 59

Credit

C

Lower Second

50 - 54

Credit

C

 

 

Third

47 - 49

Pass

D

Third

45 - 46

Pass

D

Third

40 - 44

Pass

D

 

 

Fail

35 - 39

Fail

E

 

 

Fail

Below 35

Fail

F

* European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

 

Prepared by and when: Carollann Braum, August 30, 2021

Approved by and when: Carollann Braum, August 30, 2021

Here is the course outline:

1. Introduction and The Distinctive Nature of International Law

Feb 22

Introduction This module guide is intended to help you study public international law. Public international law was once almost entirely concerned with the regulation of the relations between nations. Particularly since the Second World War, however, it has become increasingly concerned with the rights and obligations of individuals beyond the jurisdiction of the state within which they live. But because it is public international law we will not be concerned with matters of private international law. Thus international commercial disputes and international disputes between individuals will be beyond our focus unless a state or its government is an interested party. For the sake of convenience ‘international law’ will be used as an abbreviation for public international law in this module guide. Each chapter of this module guide will isolate a topic within international law and will indicate to you its most significant features, provide a brief overview of the relevant law and direct you to essential reading. Obviously all the topics interrelate, and links will be suggested to other chapters. Within each chapter you will find exercises and activities which will enable you to monitor your progress and gain confidence in your comprehension. In addition, each chapter contains sample examination questions and advice about appropriate answers. The most attractive feature of studying international law is that it is always topical. It is relevant to all of the major international events of the day whether they be concerned with the international use of force; the activities of such international organisations as the United Nations, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund; conflict in the Middle East or elsewhere; ‘terrorism’ (however defined); the international alleviation of poverty and illness; the regulation of the exploitation of the seabed (including the extraction of oil); global warming and climate change; or the possession and use of nuclear weapons. Clearly not all these topics can be considered in this course, but those that do make an appearance will have been chosen because they should enable you to understand and explore the possibilities and limitations of international law in resolving (or pre-empting) disputes which may arise. The chapters will make suggestions concerning the relevance of the topics to contemporary issues. Distinctive Nature of International Law This chapter seeks to introduce you to international law. Although it is introductory, some of the concepts remain contentious even now, and not everyone would agree with the views expressed here. This is important because it should be immediately clear to you that international law is not a static object of study. Indeed, its very ‘legal quality’ remains a matter of debate, while the continuing changes in international law give the subject a unique fluidity. Nevertheless, the core of this chapter supports the view that international law really is ‘legal’ and that it is important that this perspective is understood. The 30 years since the ‘end of the Cold War’ have seen many important changes which are affecting the way international law is conceived and operates. The legality of the international use of force – often to enforce regime change, as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, remains questionable. Twentieth century notions of sovereignty and stability have been called into question with the creation of new states following the dissolution of old states, together with attempted and actual secessions. The place of the United Nations is also in question, as is the broader picture of the world as a place of economic and political diversity. The power of the USA, militarily unchallenged for much of this period, is now facing an increasingly powerful China, and a Russia, once more militarily, if not economically, strong. Until recently, unilateral military force seemed to be able to enforce solutions that international law, lacking sanctions, was unable to achieve. Contemporary events in Syria and Iraq, leading to a self-proclaimed, if brief, ‘caliphate’ and challenging established international borders, presented new international legal challenges. In studying the basis and structures of international law in this course, therefore, we will continually be obliged to consider how international law can stand up to this challenge.

2. The Sources and Method of International Law

Mar 8

The point has been made in earlier chapters that the sources of international law are not the same as those in domestic law. You should remember, too, that the two major sources creating legally binding rules of international law are treaty and custom. This chapter considers those sources and, briefly, other sources. In domestic law the question of the source of a rule or law is seldom controversial. Common law systems rely upon statutes and the decisions to be found in court judgments for evidence of the existence of the rule or law; civil law systems rely upon the appropriate legislation or Codes. It is rarely necessary in either system to inquire whether a legal rule is in fact a legal rule and its existence, if not its interpretation, will be uncontroversial. Exceptionally a further question may arise as to the legitimacy of the rule. If it does it will usually concern the status of the rule that might be affected by procedural defects, or be beyond the power of the body that purported to create it. When such a question does arise there are other rules and procedures that allow for the testing of the validity of the rule in question. Various authors have described such domestic systems in terms of primary and secondary rules. The rules that simply govern conduct are the primary rules, while the ‘rules about the rules’ (that is, those used to determine their legitimacy) are said to be secondary. International law presents different problems, which is why all international law textbooks have a section devoted to the question of sources. Significantly there is no agreed statement about what does constitute a source of international law. Thus questions relating to the secondary rules are not only more frequent, but also more difficult to resolve. The validity or reality of international customary rules is often contentious and many cases turn on whether the existence of a rule can be proven.

3. The Dynamic Quality of International Law

Mar 15

This chapter is very closely related to some of Chapter 2 of Mansell and Openshaw and much of what is there is replicated here, emphasising its centrality. This chapter is intended to introduce you to three concepts that are central to an understanding of international law. They are introduced in the same chapter because they interrelate and overlap in their significance, but they are also distinct. The reason for their introduction here is that not only are they central but their meaning and relationship has altered significantly over the last 150 years. This historical change was alluded to in Chapter 2, Section 2.3, and discussed broadly in the relevant readings. Each of the concepts is also of relevance to other chapters. In particular the concept of sovereignty is important in the discussion of self-determination (Chapter 7); the concept of personality is crucial to an understanding of the discussion of jurisdiction in international law (Chapter 5); and the place of the individual in international law is relevant to the consideration of international human rights law (Chapter 10).

4. Jurisdiction in International Law

Mar 29

In Chapter 4 we considered the meaning of sovereignty and suggested that it may be understood as ‘the power possessed by states and the right or ability to exercise it’. The purpose of this chapter is to consider more closely just what this power is and the limits or constraints which circumscribe it. The central consideration will be the issue of when a state may claim authority, derived from sovereignty, to act in accordance with international law. In other words, under what circumstances does a state have legal competence to make, apply and enforce rules of conduct? Clearly this question may have different answers in different circumstances. We would probably assume that, generally speaking, a state may do what it wishes in its own territory – though there are obvious qualifications to that statement arising not least either from international treaty obligations or international human rights law. More significant for international law purposes is the question of when a state may exercise power beyond its borders and what justification can be provided for doing so. While we will see that principles have developed that define the occasions when such an exercise of power is regarded by the international community as legitimate, it is important to remember that the reality of power imbalance between states (notwithstanding the principle of sovereign equality discussed in Chapter 4) means that some states will be better able to exercise power beyond their borders than others. After we have considered the principle of jurisdiction in international law we will proceed to examine the circumstances in which states or individuals or other bodies may claim to have immunity from such jurisdiction. Much of the basis for a claim of immunity may also be traced to the concept of sovereign equality. One of the implications of this, it has been argued, is that no state has the right to adjudicate upon another state’s internal policies or actions. This in turn means that no state can require another state to appear as a party before its domestic courts. Some individuals, because of their position within their own state, and most obviously diplomats, will enjoy similar immunity. Throughout this chapter it should be borne in mind that answers to questions of jurisdiction are never final in a world of constant change. Most recently the rise of the internet has necessitated reconsideration of some aspects of jurisdiction, particularly concerning criminal matters

5. The Law of Treaties

Apr 12

In Chapter 3 we briefly considered treaties as a major source of international law. We observed that it may be argued that treaties are now the most important of all sources of international law. While much customary international law remains contentious (and contended) treaties are supposed to be explicit and clear, expressing the will of the parties who wish to be bound by agreement to the negotiated terms stated in the document (although you should remember that agreements not reduced to writing may still be binding.). That at least is the theory. States voluntarily commit themselves to perform in accordance with the negotiated terms. And underlying international law is this obligation – pacta sunt servanda – which was suggested to be a legal principle which takes such obligations beyond ‘mere’ international relations. Although that is the theory the reality is much less clear and remains controversial. Indeed such is the potential for dispute that the International Law Commission spent much time codifying and drafting rules that finally received significant international approval in the form of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), 1969 which came into force in January 1980. This Convention is an attempt to clarify rules of both interpretation and definition with the intention of ensuring a uniform approach to problems arising out of treaties, whether concerned with the formation of the treaty, the content of the treaty, or the continuation or termination of the treaty. This might seem a rather dull topic. It is not. Crucially important questions of policy and politics arise in cases concerned with the interpretation of treaties. In order to exemplify this aspect we will consider in some depth in Section 6.6 the ICJ’s decision in the 1997 Case concerning the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia). This case not only further exemplifies the method of the ICJ but, more importantly for this chapter, demonstrates the attitude of international law to international treaties.

6. Self-determination and territory in international law

May 3

In this chapter you are required to think about the relationship between people and territory as understood in international law. Probably for most of us, most of the time, the concept of identity as a national of a state is common sense and unproblematic. We simply know and accept that we are Pakistani, Singaporean, Chinese or whatever. Particularly in Europe few people question their national identity even if they recognise that they are, in addition to being French, Polish or whatever, European by residence, regardless of ethnicity. In theory, and in some cases in fact, individuals may have more than one national identity, but what is significant for us is that for most inhabitants of most long-established states, the link between identity and state, captured in nationality, is unproblematic. This is not necessarily so in every part of the world. Within Europe the fact that territory, especially at the margins or borders, has belonged to different states at different times over the last century indicates that an easy identification of an individual with a state, as opposed to identification with territory, is not always simply common sense. Beyond Europe in much of the world within existing states, the ‘natural’ identification of person with state often has no great history. Decolonisation brought with it state independence, but of course almost invariably within the pre-existing colonial borders. It was the state that achieved independence rather than the state’s inhabitants – an important fact that we will explore later. It is sufficient here to observe that in such states it is not unusual for persons to regard the fact of their nationality as much less significant than ethnic, religious or tribal allegiance.

7. Review & Practice Exams

May 17

Reviews of materials, chance to catch up, practice exams

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