Module Details

LW902-7-AU-CO: Public International Law

Year: 2017/18
Department: Law (School of)
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Professor Geoff Gilbert
Teaching Staff: Professor Geoff Gilbert & Patricia Palacios Zuloage
Contact details: University of Essex, School of Law. Telephone: 01206 872557; Email: geoff (non essex users should add to create the full email address).

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This module is primarily aimed at providing students with an understanding of the foundational principles of international law, and the tools and techniques of legal reasoning to apply to the international system and its actors. In this way, it provides a foundation for more specialised study of particular aspects of international law. The aim is to achieve a good basic grounding, so that students can acquire some understanding of what it means to be an international lawyer. It is also desirable that students understand how the system of international law works, its central questions and critiques, and be able to form their own views.

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module is taught by way of a two hour lecture over nine weeks of classes. The main aim of the lecture is to provide a brief overview of the foundational principles, and through class discussion to focus on a deeper understanding and critical analysis of the law and its function. This includes looking at key academic debates and the law as applied and developed in particular contexts.


100 per cent Exam Mark


3 hrs. 15 min. unseen exam. Date to be confirmed

Other details

The Exam will take place during Week 15 (week beginning 09 January 2017), that is, during the final week of the Winter Vacation before Spring Term starts.

Exam Duration and Period

3:15 during Christmas vacation.

Other information

Available to: LLM International Human Rights Law, LLM International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and LLM Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The module is compulsory for students of these LLMs whom have not completed a course on public international law in their previous university studies.


  • David (D.J.) Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law, London: Thomson/Sweet & Maxwell (7th ed, 2010)
  • The latest edition of any Public International Law Source/Documents book, such as the latest edition of BLACKSTONE'S INTERNATIONAL LAW DOCUMENTS, edited by Malcolm D. Evans, and/or BASIC DOCUMENTS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW, edited by Ian Brownlie, for use both in class and in the examination.
  • Shaw, M., International Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 6th ed. Oct 2008) KZ 3275.S53
  • Cassese, A., International Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2005) KZ 3395.C25J
  • Lowe, V., International Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007) KZ 1242.L6
  • Brownlie, I., Principles of International Law (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008). JX 3091.B7
  • Aust, A., Handbook of International Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2010) KZ 3410.A8
  • Higgins, R., Problems and Processes: International Law and How we use it (Oxford, Clarendon Press,1994) JX 3091.H5
  • Aust, A., Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007) KZ 1301.A8

Further information

External Examiner Information

  • Name: Prof Philip Leach
    Institution: Middlesex University
    Academic Role: Professor