Melbourne Journal of International Law

Subject LAWS50060 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Not applicable.
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours.


Enrolment requires the permission of the Subject Coordinator. To obtain such permission, the student must undertake in writing to the Subject Coordinator to make a substantial intellectual contribution to the Melbourne Journal of International Law during the semester that the student is enrolled in the subject.

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
November, Semester 2
Semester 1
Semester 1
Semester 2
Semester 2
Semester 2


Recommended Background Knowledge:

Prior knowledge of international law is recommended.

Non Allowed Subjects:

A student cannot have previously completed or currently be enrolled in the subject Melbourne University Law Review.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law School welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is University and Law School policy to take all reasonable steps to enable the participation of students with disabilities, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the School’s programs.

The inherent academic requirements for the study in the Melbourne Law School are:

  1. The ability to attend classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  2. The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  3. The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  4. The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  5. The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  6. The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.

Students who feel their disability will prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

This subject is available only to students who are Members of Melbourne Journal of International Law (MJIL) and are committed to a position involving a substantial intellectual contribution to MJIL during the enrolled semester. The nature of the 'substantial intellectual contribution' required of students will vary depending on the nature of their work with MJIL. It will typically involve, at a minimum, taking responsibility for the sub-editing of material accepted for publication, such editing to be typically done in respect of at least one lengthy article (in excess of 10,000 words in length) or multiple shorter articles (each under 10,000 words in length). The contribution of students holding Editorial positions may be in the form of strategic editorial control and decision making.

Making a 'substantial intellectual contribution' is a hurdle requirement for the subject, which permits students to provide evidence of what the student has learnt about the nature of international legal research from undertaking their tasks within MJIL. This evidence takes the form of the writing tasks specified below, requiring engagement with international legal scholarship as well as critical reflection on work undertaken.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  • Write in a style suitable for a university international law journal publication;
  • State an informed and well-reasoned personal perspective or position relative to a discrete area of international legal research published in the journal;
  • Discuss and analyse the broad state of the research field relevant to the journal, and identify where their personal views and approaches are placed relative to that body of research;
  • Perceive the diversity of what classifies as international legal research, including its underlying philosophies and approaches; and
  • Identify trends in international legal research, including what drivers may influence those trends.

Assessment will comprise:

  • A reflective work-log (2,000 words) submitted to the Subject Coordinator specifying in outline the substantial intellectual contribution made to MJIL in the enrolled semester and reflecting on the broad state of the research field relevant to MJIL and other subject objectives in light of the work undertaken. Code 2 applies to marking: work judged grossly in excess of any word limit will incur a marking penalty. The reflective work log will be worth 30% of the mark for this subject.
  • An independent research paper of 4,000 words. The work must be on a research question (developed by the student in consultation with the subject coordinator) and in a genre that make it suitable for publication in the MJIL. Code 3 applies to marking: the word limit will be regarded as recommended rather than compulsory and no student will be disadvantaged by exceeding the limit. The paper will be worth 70% of the mark for this subject.

In place of the independent research paper, students holding the position of Editor may choose to complete a 4,000 word paper that critically analyses and reflects on editorial choices made and challenges faced in the process of editing the volume(s) with which they were involved. Code 2 applies to marking: work judged grossly in excess of any word limit will incur a marking penalty.

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

Upon completion of the subject, students will have developed the following skills:

- Analysis of the nature and quality of international legal research, including an ability to:

  • Read legal research in a critical and informed manner;
  • Critically engage with new ideas;
  • Understand and apply ethics in academia;
  • Situate a particular piece of legal research within a broader body of international legal scholarship and within a particular style or approach; and
  • Develop and express a well-reasoned and comprehensive personal position on legal research.

- Legal writing skills, including an ability to:

  • Use and synthesise legal research;
  • Convey a coherent and critical appraisal of legal research; and
  • Edit complex pieces which offer comprehensible analysis of international legal research.

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