Institutions in International Law

Subject 730-468 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008. Search for this in the current handbook Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

The subject will be taught intensively in Geneva over the winter non-teaching period. Enrolment in the subject will be limited to a maximum of 25 students. Application instructions will be provided to LLB studens in late 2007.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The subject will be taught intensively in Geneva over the winter non-teaching period. Enrolment in the subject will be limited to a maximum of 25 students. Applicants must submit a copy of their most recent academic transcript as well as a one page cover letter and a two page CV highlighting their interest in the subject and previous academic and work experience. Interviews may also be conducted
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 144 hours.
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: International Law
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr A Mitchell
Subject Overview:

The subject examines the place of international institutions within the international legal order, considering their structure, normative underpinnings, and activities. It focuses on inter-governmental organisations but also considers non-governmental organisations and the role of civil society and national governments in both types of institution. It considers how international institutions reflect conflicting notions of fragmentation and unity in international law. Principal topics to be covered include:

  • the role of international institutions in the development of international law;

  • introduction to the key international institutions in Geneva including their history, trends in their mission, influence and importance, and reform proposals;

  • the International Law Commission's study on the fragmentation of international law, including the function and scope of the lex specialis rule and the question of international organisations as 'self-contained regimes';

  • inter-organisational cooperation, coordination and conflict in areas including intellectual property, human rights and development; and

  • participation and representation in international institutions by governments, business, civil society, and secretariat staff.

Assessment: An in-class presentation, 10%; class participation, 5%; and a research essay of 5000 words, 85% (due 29 September). Attendance at 100% of classes is a hurdle requirement to pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts: Printed Materials will be issued by the Faculty of Law.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Oral and written communication skills.
  • Thinking skills: critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical skills.
  • Capacities in information seeking and evaluation.
  • Planning and time management.
  • Working with and in different institutional and national cultures.

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