• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Security Studies, Strategic Studies, Diplomacy, Human Rights
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Dong Wook Kim
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

This course introduces students to the theoretical frameworks, empirical cases, policy instruments, and cutting-edge debates in the field of international law from an International Relations perspective.  This is not a course in international law. Rather, the course goes beyond the conventional black letter approach and focuses on the political contexts, causes, and consequences of international law, thereby bridging international politics and international law. The course is structured in three parts. First, we will focus on the different theoretical perspectives in International Relations for understanding international law, such as realist, liberal, and constructivist approaches. Second, the course will examine the general principles of international law, including actors of international law, the creation and sources of international law, international law interpretation, the relationship between international and national law, and the problem of compliance. Third, we will examine the interrelationships between international politics and international law in several specialized areas of international law, such as human rights, the environment, international criminal justice, trade, and/or the use of force.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Understand different international relations theories of international law.
  2. Apply international relations theories to case studies and issue areas of international law.
  3. Understand how international law works in world politics.
  4. Think, write, and argue critically and logically about international law issues from a political science perspective.

Indicative Assessment

Research essay, 3500 words (50%): learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4
Final examination 2 hours (in formal examination period), or  take home examination of 2,000 words (50%): learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One 2 hour lecture and one 1 hour forum per week for 13 weeks.  Students are expected to commit a further 7 hours of independent study each teaching week of the semester (total 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed POLS1006 and either POLS2113 or POLS2133.

Prescribed Texts

Sean D. Murphy, Principles of International Law, Second Edition (St. Paul: West, 2012).

Assumed Knowledge

Familiarity with basic concepts and theories in International Relations.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9694 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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