LAW37470 Advanced International Law - The Law of Int Organisations

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module examines the legal regimes governing and produced by inter-governmental organisations. This includes a consideration of the legal and conceptual nature of such organisations. It seeks to discern unity, while recognising that each organisation has its individual legal characteristics. Issues to be considered include the constitutional base, legal personality, legal powers, membership issues, voting, decision making, legal orders, accountability, responsibility, democracy, as well as emering concerns over global governance, constitutionalisation, as well as the trend towards so-called "global administrative law". A primary focus, at least initially, will be on the United Nations system. However, this course will consider a whole range of IGOs, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (IBRD), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the European Union (EU), the Organisation of American States (OAS), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

The themes that run throughout the module are:
• The impact of international organisations on the international legal order;
• The impact of international organisations on state sovereignty;
• The theoretical underpinnings of international institutional law;
• The legal nature of international organisations - are they founded upon contracts or constitutions?
• The legal consequences of international organisations being legal persons;
• The legal order produced by international organisations and their interrelationship;
• The common legal features governing the establishment and activities of international organisations.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module, students should:
(i) have an enhanced appreciation and understanding of the constitution, powers and practice of a number of key inter-governmental organisations;
(ii) be able to identify and analyse the legal rules and problems applicable across such organisations;
(iii) be able to analyse and evaluate current and developing practices of various organisations;
(iv) be able to place the legal regimes governing organisations and produced by them within wider political and theoretical frameworks.

On completion of this module, students should also have enhanced the generally transferable
skills and specific skills already developed throughout their degree programmes:
- the ability to conduct legal research, especially using international legal materials and;
- the ability to present a coherent written legal argument.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module adopts the traditional lecture approach to the delivery of the module. Student will have the opportunity during Office Consultation Hours to discuss any problems they are having with the content of the module and to discuss the coursework assignments. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Basic understanding of public international law. Whilst LAW30730 Public International Law is not a formal pre-requisite, it is necessary that students have either completed this module or taken some introductory studies in public international law.

Learning Recommendations:

Strong foundation in international law, for example, through completion of LAW 30730 Public International Law.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 2000 word essay Week 8 n/a Graded No


Assignment: 2000 word essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 1 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be offered through Office Consultation hours prior to the submission of the coursework essay and individualised feedback will be offered once this element has been assessed. Generalised feedback will be offered to all students on student performance in the examination.

Name Role
Professor Joseph McMahon Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 30, 31, 33 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 24, 29 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 26, 32 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50