SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

International Law: Contemporary Problems of World Order

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 2

International Law and Contemporary Problems of World Order is an advanced seminar-based module that focuses on specialised areas of public international law with an emphasis on critical perspectives and current issues and contemporary developments.

Areas to be covered and issues explored include:
• Self-determination of peoples
• International Human Rights Law
• The Law of Occupation
• The Use of Force
• International Criminal law
• COVID-19 and Human Rights
• The Annexation of the West Bank
• The Chagos Litigation
• Reparations for Colonialism/Slavery

In addition to the seminars, students will participate in a class research conference and a team mooting competition.

This module is available to all CISD students who have either passed an undergraduate module in Public International Law or completed Foundations of International Law in term one.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

• Advanced knowledge and understanding of the sources, doctrines and institutions of public international law
• Knowledge and understanding of some of the specialised areas of international law
• An ability to engage with the various theoretical and critical approaches to international law
• An ability to carry out independent legal research using a law library and legal electronic resources
• An ability to engage in critical analysis of primary and secondary legal sources to a high standard
• An ability to construct written and oral legal argument to a high standard


The course will be taught over 10 weeks with one 2 hour seminar per week.

Method of assessment

Assessment had changed as follows;
Assignment 1: Essay (2000 words) 60%
Team Moot: 20%
Presentation: 20%

Suggested reading

• A Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (2005)
• A Becker, Mestizo International Law (2014)
• A Gross, The Writing on the Wall: Rethinking the International Law of Occupation (2017)
• G Heathcote, The Law on the Use of Force: A Feminist Analysis (2011)
• J Hohmann & D Joyce (eds), International Law’s Objects (2018)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules