• Class Number 5662
  • Term Code 2940
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Donald Rothwell
    • Prof Donald Rothwell
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 06/05/2019
  • Class End Date 20/06/2019
  • Census Date 17/05/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 06/05/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course aims to provide an advanced, experiential understanding of the theory and practice of international dispute resolution (IDR) as a technique for resolving international law disputes. During the course theories and concepts are introduced and then reinforced through simulation exercises based on real-world dispute scenarios. In each simulation all students will play an active role as either a party to the dispute or a third-party dispute resolution mechanism. The simulations will provide students with direct experiential learning opportunities relating to the operation of the six primary IDR mechanisms provided for in Article 33 of the United Nations Charter: Negotiation, Inquiry, Mediation, Conciliation, Arbitration and Judicial Settlement.  

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Synthesise, analyse and apply the principles of international law relating to international dispute resolution;
  2. Critically evaluate processes by which international dispute resolution is undertaken and the roles played by the most important courts, tribunals and institutions;
  3. Review, compare and contrast the benefits and pitfalls of various international dispute resolution techniques;
  4. Reflect critically on the role of international law in pacifying international relations and its interplays with politics;
  5. Critically analyse major international dispute resolution institutions and mechanisms, including the International Court of Justice; and
  6. Plan and execute complex legal research in an area of international dispute resolution.

Research-Led Teaching

This course has a strong focus on research-led teaching with respect to a) the relevant literature on international dispute settlement, and b) the research experience and practical legal experience of the convenor in international dispute settlement, and c) the research experience and experience as legal practitioners of the various guest presenters who will take part in the course.

Field Trips

No field trips are proposed

Additional Course Costs

This course is an intensive course taught at the ANU Acton Campus in Canberra. Students will need to cover costs associated with travel, accommodation, meals etc, if attending from out of State.

Required Resources

The textbook for the course is J.G. Merrills, International Dispute Settlement, 6th ed (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2017). This text is available at the ANU branch of Harry Hartog: http://www.harryhartog.com.au/textbooks. Additional resources will be made available via the course WATTLE site.

The following books are available through the ANU Law Library:

·      James Crawford, Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law (8th, 2012)

·      John Collier and Vaughan Lowe, The settlement of disputes in international law: institutions and procedures (1999)

·      Marise Cremona, Anne Thies and Ramses A. Wessel (eds), The European Union and dispute settlement (2017)

·      Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Marcelo Kohen, and Jorge E. Vinuales (eds), Diplomatic and judicial means of dispute settlement (2013)

·      L.M. Goodrich et al, Charter of the United Nations: Commentary and Documents (3rd, 1969)

·      D.J. Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law (7th, 2010)

·      Natalie Klein, Dispute Settlement in the International Law of the Sea (2005)

·      Louis Kriesberg, International Conflict Resolution (1992)

·      Arthur S. Lall (ed), Multilateral negotiation and Mediation: instruments and methods (1985)

·      F.S. Northedge, International Disputes: The Political Aspects (1971)

·      Mary Ellen O’Connell (ed), International Dispute Settlement (2003)

·      Karin Oellers-Frahn & Norbert Wuhler, Dispute Settlement in Public International Law: Text & Materials (1984)

·      Cesare P.R. Romano, The Peaceful Settlement of International Environmental Disputes: A Pragmatic Approach (2000)

·      Donald R. Rothwell et al, International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives (3rd, 2018)

·      J. Stone, Legal Controls of International Conflict (1954)

·      Joaquin Tascan, The Dynamics of International Law in Conflict Resolution (1992)

·      Francesco Orrego Vicuna, International dispute settlement in an evolving global society : constitutionalization, accessibility, privatization (2004)

The following journals may also be consulted:

·      American Journal of International Law

·      Australian Year Book of International Law

·      European Journal of International Law

·      International and Comparative Law Quarterly

·      Journal of International Dispute Settlement

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. Please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course..

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 This is an intensive course taught from 9am-5pm over 4 days. This course will: 1. address the settlement of international disputes from an historical and systemic point of view; 2. review the content and scope of the obligation to settle disputes by peaceful means; 3. elaborate on the notion of 'international dispute' and examine related admissibility issues stemming from the law of international responsibility; 4. review the various non- judicial means of settlement (negotiation, mediation, good offices, enquiry, UN); 5. review the various global judicial means of settlement (arbitration, including investment (arbitration, ITLOS, WTO); 6. review by way of in-depth analysis the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a leading model for judicial settlement (institutional aspects, contentious jurisdiction ratione personae and ratione materiae, advisory jurisdiction, procedure, including all incidental proceedings, interpretation and revision; The course will give you: an advanced understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of the various international dispute resolution techniques; a critical assessment on the role of international law in pacifying international relations and its interplays with politics; a clear and enhanced understanding of those various techniques; There is an expectation that a student in this course will: Demonstrate a professional knowledge and understanding of the International Court of Justice, its jurisdiction and procedure; and Plan and execute complex legal research with independence in order to produce original scholarship.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Reflective Essay 30 % 17/05/2019 24/05/2019 1,2,3,4
Major Research Paper 70 % 24/06/2019 08/07/2019 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


For all courses taught face-to-face in intensive mode, the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the graduate program and students are required to attend ALL classes (and all of each class).

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be granted permission by the Course Convenor, in consultation with the Stream Convenor or Director, LLM Program, to miss some classes, provided:

(a) it does not exceed a maximum of 25% of the classes;

(b) permission is requested in advance; and

(c) the request is supported, where appropriate, by adequate documentation.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in a student receiving the grade of NCN (non-complete fail). The normal pressures of work or planned personal trips do not constitute exceptional circumstances to justify an exemption from full compliance of this policy.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 17/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 24/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Reflective Essay

Nature of Task: Reflective Essay

Format: Students will prepare a Reflective Essay based on the class exercise scenario. During the class exercise students will engage in a role play representing a State or an International Organisation. The Class Exercise will be held on 9 May 2019. The Reflective Essay will require students to individually reflect upon the methods of international dispute settlement considered during that exercise, and in particular those of the entity they represented.

Weighting: 30%

Word Length: 1,500 words inclusive of footnotes. A bibliography is NOT required.

Release: 9 May 2019

Due date: 17 May 2019

Estimated return date: 24 May 2019

Assessment Criteria:

  1. Understanding of the material discussed during the class exercise
  • addresses the question and covers all relevant points
  • evidence of consideration of the question and the research materials have been drawn upon
  • issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
  • the material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed and not just summarised or quoted extensively
  1. Communication and development of argument
  • clear theme of argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked conherently
  1. Argument/Analysis
  • originality of ideas and analysis of material
  • consideration of opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions
  1. Research
  • research covering core primary and secondary materials
  • good organisation of courses, where appropriate
  • use of theoretical material where appropriate
  1. Presentation, style and referencing
  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • full and accurate footnotes, as required

Assessment Task 2

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 24/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 08/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Major Research Paper

Nature of Task: Major Research Paper.

Format: Students are to write a major research paper on a selected or an approved topic. It is expected that the paper address one or a number of issues covered in the course, whether a particular form of dispute settlement (ie. adjudication), or a particular international dispute.

Weighting: 70%

Word limit: 4,500 words inclusive of footnotes. A Bibliography is required which is not included in the word limit.

Release: Major Research Paper topics will be released on 10 May. Student proposed topics MUST be approved by no later than 24 May.

Due date: 24 June 2019; to be submitted on WATTLE by no later than 2355 AET

Estimated return date: Marks will be available to students once approved by ANU College of Law. Please note that admin require one week to finalise results. The expectation is that results will be available within one week of 8 July.

Assessment Criteria:

a) Content

  • answering the question asked
  • identification of the legal issues raised
  • legal principles stated/explained with accuracy
  • legal principles stated/explained in appropriate detail
  • relevant facts recognised and linked to the legal principles
  • recognition and evaluation of judicial and statutory ambiguities and ‘grey areas’
  • originality/innovation in approach to issues
  • clear conclusions

b) Structure/organisation

  • emphasis on the significant issues
  • answer is coherent and structure logical

c) Argument/Analysis

  • originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • addressing opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions

d) Research

  • research covering primary materials and relevant secondary materials
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used
  • use of theoretical material where appropriate
  • range of research sources
  • integration of material from research resources into the essay

e) Expression, Style and Referencing

  • good use of structure, section headings and paragraphs
  • clarity and conciseness of expression, interesting and engaging of reader
  • use of appropriate terminology and correct grammar, syntax and spelling
  • adherence to word limit, if such a limit has been set
  • full and accurate footnotes
  • adherence to a legal style guide (ie. AGLC)
  • inclusion of a Biblioraphy

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assessment will be returned electronically

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not permissible after the due date and time for submission has passed.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Donald Rothwell

Research Interests

Donald R Rothwell is Professor of International Law at the ANU College of Law, Australian National University where he has taught since July 2006. His research has a specific focus on law of the sea, international polar law, and implementation of international law within Australia as reflected in 26 books, and over 200 articles, book chapters and notes in international and Australian publications. Rothwell’s recent authored, co-authored or edited books include International Polar Law (Edward Elgar, 2018) co-edited with Hemmings; International Law in Australia 3rd (Thomson Reuters, 2017) edited with Crawford; and The International Law of the Sea 2nd (Bloomsbury, 2016) with Stephens. Major career works include The Polar Regions and the Development of International Law (CUP, 1996), and International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives 3rd (CUP, 2018) with Kaye, Akhtar-Khavari, Davis and Saunders. Rothwell is also Co-Editor of the Australian Year Book of International Law and Editor-in-Chief of the Brill Research Perspectives in Law of the Sea. His most recent works include The Legal Authority of ASEAN as a Security Institution (CUP, 2019), with Nasu, McLaughlin and Tang, and The Law of the Sea in South East Asia (Routledge, IN PRESS), edited with Letts. From 2012-18 he was Rapporteur of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on ‘Baselines under the International Law of the Sea’. He has taught a range of courses including Law of the Sea, International Dispute Resolution, International Law and Use of Armed Force, International Humanitarian Law, Military Operations Law, and Public International Law. Rothwell was previously Challis Professor of International Law and Director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law, University of Sydney (2004-2006), where he had taught since 1988. He has acted as a consultant or been a member of expert groups for UNEP, UNDP, IUCN, the Australian Government, and acted as advisor to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). In 2012 Rothwell was appointed an inaugural ANU Public Policy Fellow, and in 2015 elected as a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Law (FAAL). He is a regular media commentator on international law issues and has written over 100 opinion comments, including for all of the major daily newspapers in Australia and ABC Online ‘The Drum. His media interviews have included ABC TV 7.30, ABC Radio ‘AM’ and ‘PM’, ABC Radio National ‘Breakfast’, ABC News 24, Al Jazerra (TV), BBC World (TV), the Voice of America, and The New York Times.

Prof Donald Rothwell

Monday 09:00 09:15
Prof Donald Rothwell

Research Interests

Prof Donald Rothwell

Monday 09:00 09:15

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