The University of Southampton
Courses

LAWS6131 Fundamentals of Public International Law

Module Overview

This course focuses on the practice of the criminal trial, and the rules that govern the use of evidence in this context. It explores fundamental issues in the trial process such as how the prosecution can prove its case, the restrictions on the types of evidence it can rely upon, and the protections which the law affords to defendants. The law of evidence developed throughout the centuries in the context of the jury trial but has recently undergone wide-ranging reforms, sometimes driven by controversial policy objectives. A thorough understanding of this subject is essential for criminal practitioners as the determination of an evidential issue can ultimately be decisive in a case. The module offers a critical perspective on the English law of evidence and will enable you to consider its underlying purposes and policy objectives, and equip you with the skills needed to apply the law to complex factual situations.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to give you a sound knowledge and understanding of the core rules and principles of international law underpinning many of the specialised regimes studied in other Southampton Law School LLM modules, the processes by which the law is made and applied and the means of determination of the law; • to give you an appreciation of the political, institutional and economic context of international law and the interplay of the various factors and actors involved; • to provide you with an introduction to research methods and instruction on how to access a broad range of materials on the internet; • to provide you with an opportunity to develop skills of analysis and synthesis of a wide range of both traditional legal and other primary sources, including United Nations and governmental publications.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the nature and functions of the international legal system;
  • the key sources of public international law;
  • the main principles of the law of treaties and of state responsibility;
  • the bases of states’ jurisdiction over places, events and persons and the immunities from it.

Syllabus

This course focuses on the practice of the criminal trial, and the rules that govern the use of evidence in this context. It explores fundamental issues in the trial process such as how the prosecution can prove its case, the restrictions on the types of evidence it can rely upon, and the protections which the law affords to defendants. The law of evidence developed throughout the centuries in the context of the jury trial but has recently undergone wide-ranging reforms, sometimes driven by controversial policy objectives. A thorough understanding of this subject is essential for criminal practitioners as the determination of an evidential issue can ultimately be decisive in a case. The module offers a critical perspective on the English law of evidence and will enable you to consider its underlying purposes and policy objectives, and equip you with the skills needed to apply the law to complex factual situations.

Special Features

N/A

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include You will be taught in a two-hour seminar, once a week. Seminars will cover: 1. The structure of the subject and the key applicable principles, policies and rules of law. 2. In-depth discussion of key areas of controversy and doubt concerning the scope and application of the rules of evidence against the background of the policies involved and human rights law. 3. Interactive problem-solving and case studies. Learning activities include • Directed Reading (as per distributed reading lists) • Preparing and writing formative coursework and self-reflection on that process. • Completing a formative exam. • Preparation and delivery of oral presentations. • Class discussion (including small group work).

TypeHours
Teaching20
Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Shaw, M.. International Law, or Dixon, Textbook on International Law. 

Assessment

Formative

In-class activities

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1.5 hours) 100%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1.5 hours) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1.5 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Textbooks

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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