• Class Number 1599
  • Term Code 3020
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Joanna Bourke
    • Joanna Bourke
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 17/01/2020
  • Class End Date 02/03/2020
  • Census Date 31/01/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 17/01/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course is conducted in Geneva in January/February each year.

Due to practical considerations, enrolment will be strictly limited to 20 students from all sources - a limited number of places may go to postgraduate students.

The purpose of the course is to provide participants with a substantive overview of the activities of international organisations (governmental and non-governmental) located in Geneva, focusing on the legal issues arising in their operations or area of concern. Students will spend two weeks in Geneva. Formal academic instruction will be provided in part by the accompanying ANU staff member and in part by staff drawn from local academic institutions, NGOs, etc. In addition, they will take part in coordinated visits to a range of governmental and non-governmental organisations in Geneva, including up to 30 hours of presentations by legal specialists addressing the activities of their organisation.

Topics covered include the law of international organizations, followed by the development and practice of international law through and by international organizations, notably in the areas of: international human rights and related issues; as well as international trade, intellectual property and environmental law. The precise composition of the program will vary to some extent from year to year.

All classes and visits will be conducted in English and knowledge of French is not required.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Investigate and critically evaluate the international law applicable to selected international organisations and non-governmental organisations located in Geneva;
  2. Examine, contrast and evaluate the interaction between various institutions located in Geneva and their role within the broader international legal system including its institutional framework;
  3. Investigate and critically evaluate areas of international law dealt with by selected international institutions located in Geneva;
  4. Synthesise and examine how the international legal principles dealt with by selected international organisations sit within the broader international legal framework;
  5. Plan and execute complex legal research with independence.

Required Resources

Materials containing documents and a selection of readings relevant to the lectures and visits will be made available on the course Wattle site. Students are reminded that they must download or print these prior to the course commencing in Geneva and that they must bring these with them.

A list of background resources will also be made available on Wattle and students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these prior to departure.

Staff Feedback

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

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

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course in Geneva (19-31 January 2020): Visits to a number of different international organisations and presentations from academics and practitioners on their activities as well as on the various fields of law they deal with: human rights, refugees, migrants, work, health, armed conflict, trade and development. Attendance at all visits is required and active participation expected. This will be assessed at 20% of the overall mark. Essay topics should be finalised and approved by the lecturer prior to departure from Geneva

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 20 % 31/01/2020 07/02/2020 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Essay 80 % 02/03/2020 23/03/2020 1, 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. 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.


This course requires active participation. It requires background and knowledge of international law as it explores new developments in the field and participants should have the necessary experience to contextualise these. Whilst attendance at every session in Geneva is compulsory (subject to unexpected and medically certified illness or similarly justified absence), the bulk of the academic input by students will be in the legal research and drafting of an essay after the Geneva segment of the programme is complete.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 31/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 07/02/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Class Participation

Nature of task: The course offers a unique opportunity for participants to experience first-hand the operation of various (inter-governmental, non-governmental and 'hybrid' public-private) organizations in Geneva. Insights and presentations are generally provided by lawyers working in these institutions. The program is intensive and involves a large number of contact hours (above the norm for a 6-point course). This is essential to give the participants exposure to a wide cross-section of organizations in the time available, and in order to ensure that a reasonable level of detail and context can be provided to make the experience valuable. Active participation in the class sessions and visits is therefore a central aspect of the pedagogical concept of this particular course and is appropriately reflected in the assessment by allocating 20% to that element. The substantial participation mark is also designed to encourage students to engage with the ideas covered in the course and consequently to better equip them to undertake the research project.

Assessment criteria: Class participation scores will be determined by the record of class participation by the students. Class participation scores will never be lower than 10 of the 20 possible marks (aside from cases of complete non-participation and/or unexplained absence from sessions). There's no reason to feel ‘anxious’ about that aspect of the assessment package nor pressured to continually ask questions! Active participation, however, may be rewarded by a higher class participation score.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 80 %
Due Date: 02/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 23/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4, 5


Details of task: The balance of the assessment will consist of the preparation of an analytical legal paper (essay) on an approved topic, focusing on some external or internal aspect of the area of operation of one of the organizations visited.


Nature of task: The essay is compulsory non-redeemable and failure to submit will result in a mark of 0 (zero) for the essay.


Release: Topics are either to be drawn from a short list of possible themes made available during the first week of the programme, or developed by the student in consultation with the course convenor during the programme. In both cases, the essay topic must be finalised with, and approved by, the course convenor before 4pm, Friday 31 January 2020. Students are encouraged to develop their own proposals as influenced by the classes and visits.

Due: 5pm, Monday 2 March 2020 online via Turnitin on the course Wattle site. Late submission is permitted, but will be penalised - see 'late submission' below.


Word length: 4,800 to 5,500 words. The word count includes headings and footnotes but excludes bibliography. Excess word-length will be penalised in accordance with College policy.


Other requirements: The submission should use a standard form of citation (for example, the Australian Guide to Legal Citation http://mulr.law.unimelb.edu.au/files/aglcdl.pdf  or other guide), and a list of references should be provided at the end of the essay (this does not count towards the word limit).


Assessment Criteria:

The essay is intended to add the necessary depth and theoretical reflection about the role and function of international organisations within the international legal system to what is otherwise a fairly broad overview of the topic. It is therefore not just an element of assessment but an integral part of the educational dimension of the course. It is intended to reflect a substantial research undertaking and should be fully footnoted. A bibliography comprising all literature and documents referred to in the essay should be included. Appendices are permitted, if it is deemed desirable to attach not readily available documents; such appendices (if any) must NOT contain any substantive writing by the candidate. The essay is assessed not only in terms of content but also in terms of organization and presentation. Breadth of research - going beyond the documents presented by the institutions themselves in order to situate the topic within a particular area of legal debate-, and evidence of critical evaluation are required.


The following criteria will be used in evaluating essays:

a) Understanding of the Issues

  • addresses the question and covers all the important points
  • evidence of close consideration of the question and the research materials drawn on
  • issues raised by the topic are clearly and concisely identified
  • material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively

b) Communication & Development of Argument

  • clear theme or argument
  • arguments logical and well-organised
  • ideas/paragraphs linked coherently

c) Argument/Analysis

  • originality of ideas and critical analysis of the material
  • complexity and insight in dealing with theory/ideas
  • suggestions for change where appropriate
  • interdisciplinary perspective where appropriate
  • addressing opposing arguments
  • well-reasoned conclusions

d) Research

  • research covering primary and 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) Presentation, 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
  • full and accurate footnotes together with a bibliography
  • style according to Australian Guide to Legal Citation
  • adherence to word limit

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 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).

Joanna Bourke

Research Interests

Public international law, international human rights law, feminist legal theory, transitional justice, international environmental law and climate change

Joanna Bourke

By Appointment
Joanna Bourke
+61 2 6125 3483

Research Interests

Joanna Bourke

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions