Israel, Palestine, and International Law (15Cr)

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law, Gender and Media

Module overview

Please note this module is not running in 2023/24.

This course is proposed as a 15 credit alternative to the existing campus-based 30-credit unit Law, Human Rights and Peacebuilding course: The Israel-Palestine Case.

The course offers a critical appraisal of the role of international law in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Part I,  we will explore the international legal history of the conflict from the Balfour Declaration 1917 to the UN Partition Plan 1947 to the Occupation in 1967. In Part II we take a critical look at the law of occupation with a particular focus on the indeterminacies of the law of occupation, the application of human rights to occupied territory, the Wall, and food security.

In Part III, we turn to the international law of self-determination and an analysis of the Oslo peace process. The course will close with an assessed class research conference


  • Weekly 2-hour seminar

Scope and syllabus

  • Seminar  1: International legal history: a century of international law in Palestine
  • Seminar  2: The law of occupation: beginnings  and ends  from Iraq to Gaza
  • Seminar  3: Are human rights the emperor's clothes of the law of occupation?
  • Seminar  4: Case study: the Wall
  • Seminar  5: Case study: food security
  • Seminar  6: The law of self-determination: from the West bank to Western Sahara to Chagos
  • Seminar  7: Earning sovereignty: Oslo and its discontents
  • Seminar  8: Class focus: refugees & settlements
  • Seminars 9 & 10: Class research conference (assessed)

Method of assessment

  • Presentation at research conference: 30%
  • Research paper: 70% (3000 words)

Suggested reading

  • Christine Bell Peace Agreements and Human Rights ( 2000)
  • O Ben Nafatali et al The AbC of the OPT ( 2018)
  • A Casese, Self-determination of Peoples (1995)
  • J Crawford, The Creation of States ( 2nd ed. 2006)
  • N Erakat, Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine ( 2019 )
  • A Gross The Writing on the Wall: Rethinking the International Law of Occupation  ( 2017)
  • M Mazower, No Enchanted  Palace ( 2009)
  • S Pedersen,  The Guardian: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire  ( 2015)
  • R Wilde, International Territorial Adminstration  ( 2009)
  • D Kennedy, The Dark Sides of VIrtue  ( 2004)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.