Written work on a legal topic of the your choice resulting from individual research and normally based upon material falling within the area covered by the degree for which you are registered.
Qualifying module options
An Uncensored History of International Law
This module consists of an examination of the major theoretical approaches to public international law and aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the diverse theoretical approaches to public international law and to discern the influence of these approaches on the practical development of public international law.
Biodiversity and International Law
This module examines the mechanisms by which international law seeks to protect and conserve biological diversity in terms of species and ecosystems, as well as genetic diversity within species.
Business and Human Rights
This module considers how business increasingly conducts its operations with responsibility to its stakeholders and to society at large. It examines the emergence of the business and human rights regime, which forms the basis for addressing both legal developments and voluntary initiatives across a spectrum of business and industry sectors and different types of firms operating both globally and locally.
The module content is diverse and wide-ranging, and draws on case studies in order to foster knowledge about the impacts of business on human rights protection. It considers key issues in the current business and human rights regime, including states' obligation to protect human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, human rights due diligence and access to remedy for human rights violations by corporations and other business entities.
The European Convention on Human Rights
The module covers articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), together with the procedural provisions of the ECHR.
General Themes and Principles of International Environmental Law
The module is designed to elucidate those general themes and principles that have emerged from the substantial body of detailed rules regulating the environment in international law, particularly since the 1972 Stockholm conference on the Human Environment. It will consider the extent to which these rules are evolving into a coherent legal regime.
Governance of the European Union
This module explores the European Union's constitutional system and governance structures. We will discuss the unique nature of the EU as an integrated multilevel legal order of European nation states in which, in certain areas, powers have been transferred to federal institutions.
Theories of federalism, functionalism and institutionalism will be explored and notions of the legal and political accountability of the EU as a "system of governance" are a core feature of the module. The use of law as a mechanism for integration, and the role of the courts in such a process, will be examined.
Imprisonment and Human Rights
This module covers:
- human rights in prison
- place of imprisonment in the penal system
- conditions of imprisonment
- medical treatment of prisoners
- the prison regime and rights
- civil rights of prisoners
- security, order and discipline
- external control and supervision
- release of prisoners
- the future of imprisonment
International Criminal Evidence
This module explores the strengths and weaknesses of different models of proof in both domesticand international criminal justice systems and the extent to which an international consensus is emerging around the principles of evidence and proof.
International Criminal Law
An introduction to international criminal law issues, with particular emphasis on institutions (such as Nuremberg and Tokyo IMTs, the ad hoc Tribunals and the International Criminal Court) as well as substantive and procedural aspects of international criminal law.
The module focuses on the institutional developments in international criminal law as well as the definition and application of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and aggression. Principles of liability, defences and elements of international criminal procedure will also be covered.
International Financial and Monetary Law
This module focuses on the public law regulation of international financial and monetary relations, and not on the contractual or transactional aspects of international financial markets. It aims to provide a timely and insightful overview of current regulatory developments in the field of capital and current international transactions as well as financial and monetary stability and supervision.
The module also considers the role of major institutions in the regulation of international lending and finance for development. Special topics, such as the sovereign debt crisis and regulatory efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing or the future of the international financial and monetary system may be covered during the course of this module.
International Human Rights Law
This module will introduce you to the law and practice related to international human rights. You will be encouraged to explore the foundations of international human rights law. The global, regional and national mechanisms of human rights protection will be introduced and evaluated. A selection of substantive human rights will be examined and contemporary challenges to human rights protection will be discussed.
International Investment Law
This module deals with key aspects of the international system for the regulation of foreign investment. The module focuses primarily on issues arising from investor-host state relations under Bilateral Investment Treaties or BITs and some other International Investment Agreements or IIAs but also touches upon international investment contracts, where relevant.
Special attention will be given to the means of regulating investment using such instruments, including standards of treatment and breaches thereof, the taking of foreign property and the settlement of investment disputes by means of arbitration.
International Law Mooting
This module is designed to give eligible and selected LLM students the opportunity to participate as team members in international law mooting competitions. The relevant areas of law will depend upon the moot entered.
International Law on the Use of Force
This module looks at principles and laws governing unilateral and multilateral resort to force by states under the United Nations Charter and in customary international law. Instances where force is permissible will be considered as well as the more controversial claims to use force.
International Law of the Sea
The module will consider:
- the history and evolution of the law of the sea
- baselines, internal waters and the territorial sea
- straits, archipelagos and the contiguous zone
- the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone
- the high seas
- the international seabed area and ice-covered areas
International Law of Treaties
This module examines the legal regime governing the adoption, implementation, interpretation, amendment and termination of international agreements within the wider context of the role and significance of treaties in the international legal order.
Law, Development and the International Community
This module examines some of the relationships between law and development. After examining both the notion of development per se and the right to development as a human right, the module moves on to cover a number of individual issues where the relationship between law, development and human rights can be explored.
Subjects covered include:
- the concept of development and the role of international law in promoting "development"
- the regulation of aid
- the WTO and developing countries
- intellectual property and access to medication
- the protection of traditional knowledge
- food aid and food security
- sustainable development
- gender and development
Mental Disability and International Human Rights
This module will examine the application of international human rights law, including both relevant UN conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights and its jurisprudence, to persons with mental disabilities.
Principles of Public International Law
The module is primarily concerned with those customary and treaty rules governing relations between States. This module aims to give candidates a thorough grounding in the principles of PIL. The basic topics include:
- nature of international law
- actors in the international legal system
- jurisdiction and state responsibility
Public Procurement in EU and International Trade Law
This module examines the regulation of government procurement at international level for the purpose of opening up government markets to free trade. It provides a detailed examination of the system under EU Law, which has provided a model for other international systems, and of government procurement regulation in the WTO.
Religion and International Human Rights
The module aims to provide a thorough grounding in the application of international law standards to religion. There is a strong focus on the decisions of international and European courts and international human rights bodies.
Rights, Humans and Other Animals
This module covers:
- changing perspectives on the status and treatment of animals
- developments in the field of protection of the human person
- philosophical foundations of human rights and applicability to other species
- the current regime governing the protection of animals under international law
- the notion of rights and implications of its extension to other species
The Rights of the Child
The module will explore the rights of the child in international human rights law, focusing on topics such as the concepts of childhood and the best interests of the child, family rights, education, child soldiers, child labour, the punishment of children, and the economic social and cultural rights of the child.
United Nations Law
This module examines the international institutional law and general international law governing the United Nations, including the central organs (for example the Security Council and General Assembly), subsidiary organs (such as the UNEP and the UNDP), and the specialised agencies (for example, the WHO, UNESCO, ICAO).
- the UN's constitutional basis
- its legal personality and powers
- membership and budgetary matters
- representation and decision making
- sanctions regimes
- the UN's military options
- issues of responsibility, accountability and immunities
- the UN's contribution to the development and enforcement of international law
The World Trading System
This module deals with key aspects of World Trade Organization Law. It focuses on:
- the institutional and organisational structure of the WTO and dispute settlement
- GATT (dealing with tariffs and other barriers to import of goods)
- GATS (the agreement regulating international trade in services)
- rules on unfair trade such as anti-dumping, subsidies and safeguards
Some attention is also paid to the relationship between regionalism and globalisation and to the issues of preferential trade and development.
The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.