International Law and Israel-Palestine

Subject LAWS70344 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.


Successful completion of Principles of International Law or an equivalent subject, or appropriate practical experience

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information:

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

In 1993, the Israelis and the Palestinians signed a Declaration of Principles initiating a peace process that promised to deliver a solution to the Israeli– Palestinian conflict within five years. Nearly 20 years later, the peace process is in tatters and the prospects of a peace agreement between the parties have never seemed bleaker. The failure to reach a political settlement on issues such as refugees, Jerusalem and settlements, which also have a strong international legal dimension, has given rise to a range of questions about the role of international law in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process and in peace processes more generally. This subject explores these questions critically and comparatively with reference to other conflicts, including East Timor, Western Sahara and Cyprus. In addition to her academic work, the lecturer has direct practical experience of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and has lived in the Gaza Strip, working with a human rights organisation.

The subject will be split into parts.

History and the international legal framework

Principal topics will include:

  • The legal history of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
  • The right of self-determination: From East Timor to the Western Sahara and the West Bank
  • Revisiting the history of the international law of self-determination: The untold story of population transfer
  • The law of statehood and recognition
  • The international law of occupation
  • The applicability of international human rights law to occupied territory
  • The Israeli–Palestinian peace process: From Oslo to the road map to peace.

International law and the two-state solution

Principal topics will include:

  • Refugees
  • Settlements and settlers
  • Jerusalem
  • Case study: The Wall.

Alternative models

  • Transitional justice: Peace-building, reconciliation and dealing with the past
  • One-state solution; earned sovereignty; international trusteeship.

This subject will finish with an assessed, student-run Israeli–Palestinian peace conference.

Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand and be able to use foundational concepts of public international law
  • Understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in historical and comparative perspective
  • Be familiar with the history and legal history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Understand the principal sources and rules of international law applicable to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Understand the substance and significance of the debates over the current status of the Gaza Strip
  • Be equipped to engage in legal analysis of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Be better able to analyse critically and legally the two-state solution and its alternatives.

Peace conference participation (10%)

Take-home examination (90%)


9,000 word research paper (90%) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Details regarding any prescribed texts will be provided prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in International Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law

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