Specialisation: International justice

European Convention on Human Rights

Module A [LWM12A]

Context and foundations of the European Convention on Human Rights

Background to the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights

Development and nature of the Convention system

The relationship between the Convention and other international and European norms and mechanisms

Interpreting and limiting Convention rights and freedoms

Module B [LWM12B]

The European Convention on Human Rights mechanism


Procedure before the European Court of Human Rights

The nature and effect of Court judgments

Implementing Court judgments

The role of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Module C [LWM12C]

European Convention on Human Rights substantive rights (1)

The prohibition on discrimination

The right to life

The prohibition on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment

The prohibition on slavery, the right to liberty and security and freedom of movement

Module D [LWM12D]

European Convention on Human Rights substantive rights (2)

The right to respect for private and family life and the right to marry

Freedom of conscience and religion

Freedom of expression, association and assembly

The right to a fair hearing and to an effective remedy

Module A must be attempted before module B; modules A and B must be attempted before module C; module A and B must be attempted before module D.


Clare Ovey and Robin White, Jacobs and White: The European Convention on Human Rights 4th ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), ISBN: 9780199288106

Dorothy J. Harris and A. R. Mowbray, Cases and Materials on the European Convention on Human Rights 2nd ed (London: Butterworths Law, 2005), ISBN: 9780406977274

Donna Gomien, Short Guide to the European Convention on Human Rights 3rd ed (Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2005), ISBN: 9789287156709

International criminal law

Students are advised that the subject demands some previous knowledge of public international law.

Module A: [LWM30A]

General context and international crimes before national courts

International law principles of State jurisdiction

Customary international law and treaty law

Direct criminal responsibility under international law

Treaty provisions requiring States to criminalise conduct (including terrorism and torture)


Module B: [LWM30B]

International criminal courts and tribunals

Jurisdiction and structure of international criminal courts and tribunals

Co-operation with international criminal courts and tribunals

Investigations, prosecutions, evidence and procedure before international criminal courts and tribunals

Fair trial rights appeals, revision and enforcement of sentences before international criminal courts and tribunals

Module C: [LWM30C]

The core international crimes (crimes within the jurisdiction of international tribunals

The elements of international crimes

War crimes

Crimes against humanity


Aggression and crimes against peace

Module D: [LWM30D]

General principles of international criminal law

Aut dedere aut judicare (“extradite or prosecute”) and unlawful abductions

Jurisdictional immunities

Modes of participation in crimes, and concurrence of crimes


Starting with A, modules must be attempted in order.

Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law 2nd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), ISBN: 9780199259397

Claire De Than and Edwin Shorts, International Criminal Law and Human Rights (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2003), ISBN: 9780421722507

Philippe Sands (ed), From Nuremberg to The Hague: The Future of International Criminal Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), ISBN: 9780521536769

International law of the sea

Module A: [LWM34A]

Evolution of the law of the sea

Pre-UN developments


The four Geneva Conventions on the law of the sea


Module B: [LWM34B]

Baselines, the territorial sea and the contiguous zone

The law on drawing baselines

The rights of states in their territorial sea

The right of innocent passage of other states

Rights and duties in the contiguous zone

Module C: [LWM34C]

The continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone

Definition and drawing of the continental shelf

Rights of States in the continental shelf

The concept of the EEZ

Rights and duties of States in the EEZ and its delimitation

Module D: [LWM34D]

The high seas, the sea-bed and dispute resolution

The notion of the freedoms of the high seas

The legal status of the sea-bed and its resources

The International Seabed Authority

Dispute settlement mechanism in the law of the sea

Module A first.

Robin R. Churchill and A. Vaughan Lowe, The Law of the Sea 3rd ed (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999), ISBN: 9780719043826

United Nations, The Law of the Sea: Official Texts of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and of the Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI with Excerpts from the Final Act of the 3rd Conference (New York: United Nations, 1997), ISBN: 9789211335224

International refugee law

Students should have some previous knowledge of public international law.

Module A: [LWM60A]

The development of, and responsibility for, international protection of refugees

Historical perspective

The legal framework: The 1951 Refugee Convention and other instruments

Definition of refugee: Beyond the classical definition

Assessment in refugee status determination procedures

International approaches to refugee protection

Legal protection of international displaced persons and stateless persons

Module B: [LWM60B]

The European dimension of refugee law

European immigration practices and policies

The evolving European Union Acquis on asylum: The European framework for refugee protection

European Union refugee status determination procedures

Responsibility and internal protection: European Union Directive on qualification for international protection

European Union jurisprudence: Interaction of the European Convention on Human Rights and refugee law

Module C: [LWM60C]

The rights of refugees

Standards of treatment

Durable solutions to refugee problems

Selected substantive rights of refugees under the 1951 Refugee Convention:
-Principle of non-discrimination
-Right to a fair trial
-Family reunification
-Freedom of movement

Module D: [LWM60D]

Contemporary issues in refugee law

Refugee issues and armed conflicts: Dynamic of mobility and displacement

Women and children refugees

Non-Refoulement: A peremptory norm of international law

Loss and denial of refugee status: Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention

Module A first.

Jurisprudence and legal theory

Students are not required to have taken an undergraduate course in Jurisprudence, but it will be assumed that they will have some familiarity with standard works in the field up to LLB standard.

The double modules can be attempted in either order.

Double section A/B: [LWM7AB]

Modern legal theory

Selected topics in the development of Anglo-American legal philosophy from the origins of utilitarianism to the present day, including contemporary debates on philosophical method and the nature of law.

Double section C/D: [LWM7CD]

Liberty, equality and law

Selected topics in the development of liberalism, including the ideas of liberty and equality and their relevance in the present day to our understanding of community, economics, cultural diversity and feminism.

Either first.

Ronald Dworkin, Law’s Empire new edition (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 1998), ISBN: 9781841130415

Law and policy of international courts and tribunals

Module A: [LWM38A]

Introduction to international dispute resolution

Introduction and historical background: from arbitration to the International Criminal Court

The concept of an international dispute

Participation in international disputes

Module B: [LWM38B]

Non-adjudicatory dispute resolution processes

The obligation to settle disputes peacefully

Overview of the processes for the peaceful settlement of disputes; negotiation; fact-finding; mediation; conciliation; arbitration and adjudication. Points of similarity and distinction; advantages and disadvantages; factors that influence recourse to particular processes

Fact-finding as a dispute resolution process; fact-finding by governmental and non-governmental actors; Inspection Panels; the role of fact-finding in disputes concerning violations of human rights

Negotiation and mediation

Module C: [LWM38C]

Role and functioning of international courts and tribunals: institutional aspects

Appointment and role of adjudicators

Role of registry/secretariat

Participants (and non-participants in proceedings) and their representation

Applicable law: procedural and substantive

Issues of access, including jurisdiction (contentious and advisory), standing and admissibility

Financing of international courts and tribunals and proceedings before them

Module D: [LWM38D]

Role and functioning of international courts and tribunals: procedural aspects

Third party participation, including intervention and amicus curiae briefs

Preparation and filing of written pleadings and the role of oral arguments

Provisional measures

Evidentiary rules and principles

The powers of the various courts and tribunals, including remedies

Interpretation, appeal and review

For students who chose to study and be examined in this course prior to January 2007, sections A and B must be attempted before Module D. Students choosing to study this course with effect from 1 January 2007 will be required to attempt the sections in order.

Ruth Mackenzie, Cesare Romano, Yuval Shany and Philippe Sands (eds), Manual on International Courts and Tribunals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), ISBN: 9780199545278

John Merrills, International Dispute Settlement 4th ed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), ISBN: 9780521617826

Law of treaties

Module A: [LWM54A]

Introduction to the law of treaties

Introduction to the law of treaties

Sources of international law with a particular focus on treaties

Concept of a treaty in international law

Treaty-making process

Depositaries, registration and publication of treaties

Consent to be bound by a treaty

Module B: [LWM54B]

Entry into force and the scope of treaty obligations

Entry into force and obligations prior to entry into force

Reservations to treaties

Application of treaties (pacta sunt servanda; observance of treaties and internal law; effect on third states)

Module C: [LWM54]

Legal aspects of the working of treaties

Interpretation of treaties

Conflict of treaties

Revision, amendment and modification of treaties

Succession to treaty obligations

Module D: [LWM54D]

Legal aspects of invalidity, termination and suspension of treaty obligations

Termination and suspension of treaties

Invalidity of treaties

Procedural aspects of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969

Miscellaneous provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969

Module A first.

Anthony Aust, Modern Treaty Law and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), ISBN: 9780521678063

David Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law 7th revised ed (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 2010), ISBN: 9781847032782

Malgosia Fitzmaurice and Olufemi Elias, Contemporary Issues in the Law of Treaties (Utrecht: Eleven International Publishing, 2005), ISBN: 9789077596067

United Nations protection of human rights

Students are advised that this course demands some previous knowledge of public international law.

Module A [LWM61A]

Mechanisms for human rights protection by United Nations bodies

Historical development of international human rights law

Mechanisms established by UN human rights treaties: general comments by treaty bodies; reporting system and concluding observations; individual complaints; inter-state complaints; visits

Special Procedures established by the UN Commission on Human Rights: country mandates and thematic mandates

Mechanisms under UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 1235 and ECOSOC resolution 1503

Module B [LWM61B]

Substantive rights under United Nations human rights treaties 1

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

Module C [LWM61C]

Substantive rights under United Nations human rights treaties 2

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Module D [LWM61D]

Selected United Nations human rights bodies and specialised agencies

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

World Health Organization (WHO)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Module A first.

Henry J. Steiner, Philip Alston and Ryan Goodman, International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals 3rd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), ISBN: 9780199279425

Javaid Rehman, International Human Rights Law: A Practical Approach 2nd ed (London: Longman 2009), ISBN: 9781405811811