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POLSC412: International Law

Unit 1: The Historical Development and Evolution of International Law   In this unit, you will explore foundational concepts of international law.  You will learn what international law is and where it comes from.  We will examine how Western society came to view domestic law and how international law has been conceptualized analogously to domestic law.  This unit will also review the contributions that key legal scholars have made in the development of modern international law.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 14 hours to complete. 

☐    Subunit 1.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 4 hours

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Define international law. - Explain how international law is established and enforced. - Identify legal issues present in modern international disputes. - Explain the role that international organizations and alliances play in the implementation and enforcement of international law.

1.1 The Purpose of International Law   International law has become quite complex in the past two decades due to globalization.  There are international laws governing patents, transportation, customs, space exploration, environmental controls, trade, immigration, human rights, war crimes, contracts, securities, financial transactions, sovereignty, and immunity.

  • Reading: Justia.com: What is international law? Link: Justia.com: What is international law? (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the brief article, which explains the scope of international law.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.
     

  • Reading: Cornell University School of Law Legal Information Institute: International Law Link: Cornell University School of Law Legal Information Institute: International Law (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the brief article, which explains the scope, sources, and application of international law.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Benedict Kingsbury’s “What, How, and Who Should Public International Law Regulate? New Problems of Global Administrative Governance” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Benedict Kingsbury’s “What, How, and Who Should Public International Law Regulate? New Problems of Global Administrative Governance” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” in the middle of the page.  Please watch the video presentation (42 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Christian Tomuschat’s “What is General International Law?” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Christian Tomuschat’s “What is General International Law?” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” in the middle of the page.  Please watch the video presentation (35 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.2 Development of International Law   The earliest forms of international law involved trade and war. As nation-states evolved, legal norms developed within them that led to systemic preconditions for declarations of war.  Beginning with the Greek city-states in the 5th century B.C.E., strategic warfare began to evolve in Western civilization, spurring debates between utilitarian and humanitarian leaders as to how war should be conducted and what, if any, limits should be placed on military conduct during operations.  As commerce and military conquests became more frequent, alliances and treaties were formed. 

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Mónica Pinto’s “The Evolution of International Society and International Law” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Mónica Pinto’s “The Evolution of International Society and International Law” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” in the middle of the page.  Please watch the video presentation (79 mins.)
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge A. A. Cançado Trindade’s “Jus Cogens in Contemporary International Law” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge A. A. Cançado Trindade’s “Jus Cogens in Contemporary International Law” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” under the heading “Jus Cogens in Contemporary International Law”.  Please watch the video presentation (40 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Anthony D’Amato’s “Customary International Law” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Anthony D’Amato’s “Customary International Law” (RealPlayer)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” under the “Customary International Law” heading.  Please watch the video presentation (31 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.3 Sources of International Law   International law is derived from a variety of sources, to include, custom, precedent, treaty, statute, and constitution.  In this subunit, you will read about the sources of international law and how they are applied by courts, tribunals, agencies, and peacekeeping forces.

  • Reading: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Christopher Greenwood’s “Sources of International Law: An Introduction” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Christopher Greenwood’s “Sources of International Law: An Introduction” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Go to the linked page and click the tab for “Related Material,” and then on the link under “The Sources of International Law” to read the article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Anthony D’Amato’s “The Sources of International Law” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Anthony D’Amato’s “The Sources of International Law” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” under the heading “The Sources of International Law.”  Please watch the video presentation (28 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge A. A. Cançado Trindade ‘s “General Principles of Law as a Source of International Law” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge A. A. Cançado Trindade ‘s “General Principles of Law as a Source of International Law” (RealPlayer)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and scroll down the page to “Sources of Law—General Principles of Law as a Source of International Law.”  Click on the “Video” link to the watch the video presentation (42 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

1.4 Enforcement of International Law   - Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Georges Abi-Saab’s “The International Judicial Function” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Georges Abi-Saab’s “The International Judicial Function” (RealPlayer Video)
 
Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” in the middle of the page.  Please watch the video presentation (68 mins.).
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: The United Nations’ Documentation Research Guide: International Law Link: The United Nations’ Documentation Research Guide: International Law (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read it to learn about the various international courts and tribunals that seek to enforce international law.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Vera Gowlland-Debbas’ lecture notes on “The International Court of Justice as the Principal Judicial Organ of the United Nations” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Vera Gowlland-Debbas’ lecture notes on “The International Court of Justice as the Principal Judicial Organ of the United Nations” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Go to the linked page and clickthe tab for “Related Material,” and then on the PDF icon link next to “Outline of Lecture” to read the lecture notes.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Vera Gowlland-Debbas’ “The International Court of Justice as the Principal Judicial Organ of the United Nations” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Vera Gowlland-Debbas’ “The International Court of Justice as the Principal Judicial Organ of the United Nations” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” in the middle of the page.  Please watch the video presentation (63 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge Sang Hyun Song’s “The International Criminal Court at a Glance” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge Sang Hyun Song’s “The International Criminal Court at a Glance” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “English” under the “International Criminal Court at a Glance” heading.  Please watch the video presentation (35 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge A. A. Cançado Trindade’s “The Access of Individuals to International Justice” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Judge A. A. Cançado Trindade’s “The Access of Individuals to International Justice” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” under the “Access of Individuals to International Justice” heading.  Please watch the video presentation (43 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.