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LAW3443 Public International Law

Semester 1, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Law
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Nicky Jones
Moderator: Reid Mortensen


Pre-requisite: LAW2204 or LAW5604

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


International law is commonly referred to as the 'Law of Nations'. It shapes all international activity from trade to civilian air traffic to nuclear proliferation to climate change to human rights. This course will introduce some fundamental principles of international law and provide the framework for students to explore specific topics in international law in further study.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. identify sources of international law
  2. understand the nature of international law, including limitations in the international legal system
  3. understand and explain the relationship between international law and Australian domestic law
  4. identify and understand fundamental concepts, principles and doctrines of international law, including State responsibility, jurisdiction and legitimate use of force
  5. understand and analyse key topics and issues in international law
  6. demonstrate satisfactory legal research and oral and written communication skills.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The international legal system 5.00
2. Sources of international law 10.00
3. International law as an influence on Australian domestic law 10.00
4. Personality and recognition 10.00
5. Jurisdiction issues in international law and territory 10.00
6. State responsibility 10.00
7. Non-state actors 5.00
8. The use of force and self-defence 10.00
9. International environmental law (introduction) 10.00
10. Law of the sea (introduction) 10.00
11. International human rights law (introduction) 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Triggs, GD 2011, International law, contemporary principles and practices, 2nd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales.
    (If you cannot find a copy of the 2011 edition, the 2006 edition of this text may also be used. The course materials will note relevant chapters from both editions.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Cassimatis, AE, Lacey, W, McNaughton, A & Rayfuse, R 2011, An Australian companion to Harris: cases and materials on international law, 2nd edn, Thomson Reuters, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Dixon, M & McCorquodale, R 2003, Cases and materials on international law, 4th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Hall, S 2011, Principles of international law, 3rd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Harris, D 2010, Cases and materials on international law, 7th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, London.
  • Rothwell, DR, Kaye, S, Akhtarkhavari, A & Davis, R 2011, International law: cases and materials with Australian perspectives, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Directed Study 89.00
Private Study 56.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ONLINE TEST 10 0 23 Mar 2012
EXAMINATION PART A 20 20 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date for exam (parts A, B and C) after the timetable has been finalised. The total working time for exam (parts A, B and C) is 2 hours.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This will be an open examination. Candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments: Students studying this course as part of a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at, or contact the Law librarian.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at