LAWS324-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022

Principles of Public International Law

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 21 February 2022
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 6 March 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 15 May 2022


The principles of the laws of nations in peace, war and neutrality, and selected issues.

An introduction to international law as it applies to states and other legal persons and provides the framework for international diplomacy.

This course begins with an introduction to the nature and purpose of public international law and introduces candidates to its functions and to selected theories of international law. International law governs the relations between states and, to a lesser extent, between other entities such as international organisations, NGOs and individuals. Candidates will then go on to to consider the process by which international law is created- the so-called sources of international law- before going on to explore the rules relating to jurisdiction, the relationship between national and international law, state responsibility and responses to breaches of international obligations. This course will provide students with an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of the international legal system, which is a necessary pre-requisite for the study of any area of international law.

Students should note that LAWS324 is a pre-requisite for a number of advancing international law courses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate a basic and systematic understanding of the elementary principles, processes and institutions of public international law including the nature of international legal 'knowledge' and 'norms';
  • Critically analyse and evaluate public international law within a social, political and theoretical context including the principles of and values of justice within the system;
  • Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the theory and practice of public international law through a critical evaluation of primary materials and relevant scholarship in the field.

    Thinking skills:
  • Identify and articulate legal issues;
  • Apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate responses to legal issues;
  • Engage in critical analysis and make a reasoned choice amongst alternatives;
  • Think creatively in approaching legal issues and generating appropriate responses;
  • Develop an ability to exercise a professional judgement.

    Research skills:
  • Demonstrate intellectual and practical skills needed to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues.

    Communication and collaboration:
  • Communicate in ways that are effective, appropriate and persuasive for legal audiences.

    Self management:
  • Learn and work independently.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


LAWS342, LAWS375 (prior to 2006)


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Karen Scott


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay 06 May 2022 50%
Time-Limited Test 03 Jun 2022 50%

The assessment may be by way of an essay and exam.

The assessment will be confirmed in the first week of lectures.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Alberto Costi; Public International Law; A New Zealand Perspective ;

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $845.00

International fee $4,313.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Faculty of Law .

All LAWS324 Occurrences

  • LAWS324-22S1 (C) Semester One 2022