• Class Number 7218
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • Esme Shirlow
    • Esme Shirlow
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course deals with the body of law known as International Law or sometimes ‘Public International Law', as distinct from ‘Private International Law'. The field of International Law deals with many aspects of the functioning of the international community (including the relations of States with each other and with international organisations); it also affects many activities that occur within or across State boundaries (including the treatment by States of their citizens, environmental law, military operations, and many other areas). The impact of international law on the Australian legal system and the globalised nature of many governmental, judicial and social activities means that a basic knowledge of the terminology, institutions, and substance of international law is not only worthwhile acquiring in its own right, but is also a necessary part of the knowledge and skills of any law graduate.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Introduce you to the basic concepts and terminology of public international law;
  2. Provide you with an overview of the processes by which international law is formed and the most important bodies and institutions involved in the international legal system;
  3. Introduce you to the international law relating to treaties;
  4. Introduce you to the interaction between the international legal system and the Australian legal system;
  5. Introduce you to various theoretical perspectives on the formation and operation of the international legal system;
  6. Show the relevance of international law to current political and social developments at the international and national levels;
  7. Introduce you to the major specialised bodies of international law; and
  8. Provide you with an introduction to sources and methods of research in the field of international law.

Research-Led Teaching

Esmé researches public international law, international dispute settlement, and international investment arbitration. For further details of Esmé's research and teaching interests, see: https://law.anu.edu.au/people/esme-shirlow

Required Resources

A reading list and electronic resources will be provided through the Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments, in lectures and tutorials
  • feedback to whole class, tutorial groups, and individuals

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 Introduction to the Course and to International Law (History, Nature, Structure) Lectures will be pre-recorded and uploaded to Wattle for access from the time/date on which they are scheduled in the timetable. There will be a 1-hour tutorial each week.
2 Subjects and Actors in International Law (States, International Organisations, and Individuals)
3 Sources of International Law
4 The Law of Treaties
5 International Law and Domestic Law NB the weekly tutorial this week will not take place. Instead, students will be required to attend a Library Tutorial (and complete a Quiz) - see details in assessment below.
6 The Law of Jurisdiction
7 The Law of Immunities
8 The Law of State Responsibility
9 Prohibition on the Threat or Use of Force
10 Collective Security and Enforcement Measures
11 The Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes
12 Revision and Reflection

Tutorial Registration

You must register in one tutorial group via WATTLE. See Wattle site for details.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorial Participation 10 % * 03/12/2020 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Analytical Reflections 35 % 14/09/2020 06/10/2020 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Open-book problem based examination 55 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

* 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Effective participation in this course requires a commitment of approximately 10 hours each week, comprised of attending lectures, tutorials, and reading. Students are expected to prepare for both lectures and tutorials and to engage critically in the discussion that takes place there, especially in the tutorials.


Please note that date in the assessment summary is indicative only. Students should consult the examinations timetable when it has been finalised for the exact date and time.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 03/12/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Tutorial Participation

Details of Task: Tutorials will offer an invaluable opportunity to consolidate your knowledge of international law, and prepare for the course assessments. Tutorial participation will focus on learning objectives, with an emphasis on your capacity to communicate orally your knowledge and understanding of the rules and concepts of international law covered in the course. Your participation in tutorials will be continuously assessed through semester. A Law Library Information Session will be delivered to students in place of the tutorial in Week 5. The Session will be followed by a quiz to test your understanding of the material covered in the Session. You will be able to access the quiz after your library session. The quiz will be released at 5pm on Friday 28 August, and will be available until 5pm on Friday 25 September

Nature of Task: To receive a participation mark, you are required to attend at least 9 tutorials (one of which must be the library tutorial) and complete the library quiz.

Weighting: 10%

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 14/09/2020
Return of Assessment: 06/10/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Analytical Reflections

Details of Task: This task will comprise two prompts to which students will be required to develop short (700-word) analytical responses. This task will assess students' ability to engage with the readings critically and reflectively, and to develop confidence in engaging intellectually with the materials and discussions about the materials covered in the course. It will assess students' ability to formulate and defend an argument that addresses core issues related to international law. It will provide students with an opportunity to plan and execute legal research and to present their findings in written form.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Non completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Release date: 19 August 2020

Due date: 5:00pm (AEST) 14 September 2020 via Wattle. Late submissions are accepted but a mark penalty will be imposed.

Estimated Return date: 3 weeks after submission

Weighting: 35%

Word limit: 1,400 words (Students will be given two prompts, with each response to be no more than 700 words in length, inclusive of footnotes in AGLC/OSCOLA format)

Assessment Criteria:

Understanding of relevant law and legal policy

Critical and analytical response to the topic

Structure and organisation of ideas

References to, and engagement with, relevant primary legal and secondary scholarly sources

Written expression, including use of legal terminology, proof-reading, grammar, and punctuation

Assessment Task 3

Value: 55 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Open-book problem based examination

Details of Task: The examination will comprise a hypothetical style problem that will test your knowledge of the course topics. You will be required to write a response to this problem scenario of up to 2,200 words. All material covered in lectures and tutorials may be covered in the examination. 

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Non-submission of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Weighting: 55%

Timing: Exam period. Please consult the university examination timetable for details.

Permitted Materials: This will be communicated to you closer to the time of the exam.

Estimated return date: After final results are released via wattle.

Assessment Criteria:

Understanding of relevant law and legal policy

Critical and analytical response to the topic

Structure and organisation of ideas

References to, and engagement with, relevant primary legal and secondary scholarly sources

Written expression, including use of legal terminology, proof-reading, grammar, and punctuation

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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.

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).

Esme Shirlow

Research Interests

public international law, international dispute settlement, international investment arbitration

Esme Shirlow

Monday 14:00 15:00
Esme Shirlow
+61 2 61253483

Research Interests

Esme Shirlow

Monday 14:00 15:00

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