Course Listing


Public International Law
Last Updated Date:   30 June 2022


5 Credits,  Semester 1

Course Description:
This course provides a classic general introduction to international law, its structures, institutions, processes and principles. It is taught from a 'globalist’ perspective, and is not confined to any particular country's approach towards international law; it seeks to make the student aware of points of convergence and divergence with respect to how the legal orders of different states may relate to international law in general.

The classic paradigm of international law as the law between nation-states no longer fully accurately captures global realities in the contemporary setting. Today, a variety of non-state actors (international organisations like the UN, WTO, ILO, multi-national corporations, terrorists, individuals, ethno-cultural groups) participate in international society and influence its norms and processes. Public international law continues to be a rapidly expanding field, covering diverse fields of human activity. This has given rise to specialist topics pertaining to trade, environmental law, human rights law, outer space etc…

This course will focus on foundational concepts and principle underlying the international legal system and the application of legal norms. It will resist the temptation to take a whistle-stop tour through the most exotic or most current international affairs and incidents. Both historical and contemporary material will be judiciously referenced, to illustrate core ideas and the types of situations international law is called upon to address. A key objective is to unveil the current state of the international legal order and the tension between law and politics, theory and practice, power and justice, utopia and the real world.

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Course Convenor: Prof Thio Li-ann

Co-teacher(s): NA

Module Codes: LL4050V / LL5050V / LC5050V / LL6050V / LLJ5050V

Contact Hours: 1 hr lecture + 2 hr weekly seminar

Workload: 3 hours

Mode of Assessment: Assignment (2500-3000 words, excld footnotes) - 25% [Submission: Wk 7 - Mon, 26 Sep 2022 (4pm)]; Final Exam - 75%

Preclusions: Nil

Prerequisites: NUS Compulsory Core Law Curriculum or common law equivalent.

Examination Date: Friday, 25 November 2022 (PM)

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