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IRPG857 – International Law and Institutions

2017 – S1 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Dr Lavina Lee
Contact via lavina.lee@mq.edu.au
Rm 431, Building W6A
Thursday 1.30 - 3 pm
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MIntRel or PGDipIntRel or GradDipIntRel or MIntCommMIntRel or MIntBusMIntRel or MIntRelMIntTrdeComLaw or MTransInterMIntRel or MIntPubDip or GradCertIntRel or MPlan
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit examines why international law and institutions have increasingly become instruments of choice for states in solving common problems and expressing common values. We focus first on the nature of international law and institutions, the historical and political context in they have developed and major theoretical approaches. We then look at substantive issue areas including the use of force and the UN collective security system; terrorism; international crimes; international trade; and international environmental institutions. Finally, we examine the impact of unequal power relations in international law and institutions as well as issues of legitimacy and global governance.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. The development of a body of knowledge about: the nature and sources of international law; international law with respect to the use of force, terrorism, the sea, international crimes, international trade and the environment; the historical development of international law; and the specific core charters, functions, decision-making and dispute-settlement procedures and processes of the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Kyoto Protocol, and the ICC.
  2. The ability to understand and critically evaluate the theoretical approaches to international law and international relations within the IR discipline and to reflect upon the role of power on the formation and effective operation of international law.
  3. The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.
  4. The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  5. The ability to undertake independent research and analysis.
  6. The ability to communicate effectively in both written work and oral presentations. This involves being able to identify and organise relevant information and to formulate persuasive, coherent and critical arguments.
  7. The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.
  8. The ability to express critical judgment about underlying theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in the field.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Task 1 - Online Participation 15% Ongoing
Task 2 - Mid-Semester Test 15% Wednesday 12 April 7.30 pm
Task 2 - Long Paper 40% Thursday 27 April 2017
Task 4 - Final Exam 30% Saturday 17 June 2017

Task 1 - Online Participation

Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 15%

A discussion board has been set up on ilearn as a forum to facilitate on-line discussion of the course material. Discussion will centre on specific questions which will be uploaded onto the board from week to week. There may also be debates, case studies and scenarios that will require prior preparation. At the end of session, students will be assessed on their contributions to the discussion board throughout the semester. 

To encourage regular participation, contributions to the discussion board made on a particular topic will not be assessed unless it is made within a two week period after the relevant lecture. For example, contributions related to the topic discussed in week 2 should be made by the date of the lecture in week 4 at the latest. As a minimum, you should make at least 6 contributions to the discussion board throughout the semester – however, more frequent participation is encouraged. Further, at least three contributions must be made to a topic in weeks 1-7, and three for a topic in weeks 9-12.

Assessment of participation in the discussion board is based on the quality of your contributions rather than the quantity of contributions. The quality of your contributions will be significantly enhanced by the amount of preparation you do each week. It is also important that the contributions made by students acknowledge previous points of view and provide constructive follow-on comments. That is, there should be an attempt to respond to the comments previously made on a topic. Participants should avoid making unconnected statements unless they wish to start a new thread (raise a new issue). 

Remember also to be courteous to other participants – if you would not make particular comments to another participant face to face, then you should refrain from making them online.

Contributions to the discussion board made after week 13 will not be assessed.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The development of a body of knowledge about: the nature and sources of international law; international law with respect to the use of force, terrorism, the sea, international crimes, international trade and the environment; the historical development of international law; and the specific core charters, functions, decision-making and dispute-settlement procedures and processes of the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Kyoto Protocol, and the ICC.
  • The ability to understand and critically evaluate the theoretical approaches to international law and international relations within the IR discipline and to reflect upon the role of power on the formation and effective operation of international law.
  • The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both written work and oral presentations. This involves being able to identify and organise relevant information and to formulate persuasive, coherent and critical arguments.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.
  • The ability to express critical judgment about underlying theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in the field.

Task 2 - Mid-Semester Test

Due: Wednesday 12 April 7.30 pm
Weighting: 15%

The mid-semester test will be a 1 hour online examination administered through ilearn. It will be released on Wednesday 12 April 2017 at 7.30 pm and is due for submission at 8.30 pm. It will consist of a mixture of multiple choice and short-answer questions on the material covered in weeks 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the course. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The development of a body of knowledge about: the nature and sources of international law; international law with respect to the use of force, terrorism, the sea, international crimes, international trade and the environment; the historical development of international law; and the specific core charters, functions, decision-making and dispute-settlement procedures and processes of the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Kyoto Protocol, and the ICC.
  • The ability to understand and critically evaluate the theoretical approaches to international law and international relations within the IR discipline and to reflect upon the role of power on the formation and effective operation of international law.
  • The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both written work and oral presentations. This involves being able to identify and organise relevant information and to formulate persuasive, coherent and critical arguments.
  • The ability to express critical judgment about underlying theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in the field.

Task 2 - Long Paper

Due: Thursday 27 April 2017
Weighting: 40%

Students are required to submit a research paper of 2,500 words in length. Essays which are 10% or more over this word limit will be penalised. A list of essay questions will be posted on ilearn in week 1.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The development of a body of knowledge about: the nature and sources of international law; international law with respect to the use of force, terrorism, the sea, international crimes, international trade and the environment; the historical development of international law; and the specific core charters, functions, decision-making and dispute-settlement procedures and processes of the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Kyoto Protocol, and the ICC.
  • The ability to understand and critically evaluate the theoretical approaches to international law and international relations within the IR discipline and to reflect upon the role of power on the formation and effective operation of international law.
  • The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.
  • The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  • The ability to undertake independent research and analysis.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both written work and oral presentations. This involves being able to identify and organise relevant information and to formulate persuasive, coherent and critical arguments.
  • The ability to express critical judgment about underlying theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in the field.

Task 4 - Final Exam

Due: Saturday 17 June 2017
Weighting: 30%

This is 1 day open book examination. The final examination paper will be released onto ilearn on Saturday 17 June 2016 at 9.30 am and is due for submission by 9.30 am on Sunday 18 June 2015. Students are responsible for ensuring that they have access to ilearn to download the paper and to re-submit it. The paper will cover material discussed in weeks 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • The development of a body of knowledge about: the nature and sources of international law; international law with respect to the use of force, terrorism, the sea, international crimes, international trade and the environment; the historical development of international law; and the specific core charters, functions, decision-making and dispute-settlement procedures and processes of the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Kyoto Protocol, and the ICC.
  • The ability to understand and critically evaluate the theoretical approaches to international law and international relations within the IR discipline and to reflect upon the role of power on the formation and effective operation of international law.
  • The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.
  • The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both written work and oral presentations. This involves being able to identify and organise relevant information and to formulate persuasive, coherent and critical arguments.
  • The ability to express critical judgment about underlying theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in the field.

Delivery and Resources

Required Reading

We will be using the following textbook: David Armstrong, Theo Farrell and Helene Lambert, International Law and International Relations (Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press 2012). 

Second hand copies of this text are likely to be available. Please buy the 2012 edition.

In addition from week to week additional journal articles, news articles etc will be set as required reading and posted on ilearn. 

Technologies Used

This unit has an online presence in in ilearn. Students will require access to reliable broadband and a computer.

Tutoring Staff

TBA

 

Unit Schedule

 

Week 1

Introduction to course; Evolution of International Law

Wednesday 1 March – Lecture 1 (but no seminar/tutorial)

See ilearn materials

Week 2

The Nature of International Law; Sources of International Law

Wednesday 8 March - First seminar/tutorial 

Week 3

Sources of International Law; Theoretical Approaches Part 1

Wednesday 15 March

Week 4

Theoretical Approaches Part 2

Wednesday 22 March

Week 5

The Use of Force

Wednesday 29 March

Week 6

Terrorism

Wednesday 5 April

Week 7

No Lecture or Tutorial

Mid-Semester Test - Wednesday 12 April 7.30 pm - 8.30 pm

 

MID SEMESTER BREAK

Friday 14 April to Friday 28 April

Long Paper Due: Thursday 27 April 

 

Week 8

International Humanitarian Law

Wednesday 3 May

Week 9

International Crimes and the ICC

Wednesday 10 May

Week 10

International Trade and the WTO

Wednesday 17 May

Week 11

The Environment

Wednesday 24 May

Week 12

The Law of the Sea and Great Power Politics

Wednesday 31 May

Week 13

Revision Lecture and Tutorials

Wednesday 7 June

Final Examination – one day take home paper

Released on ilearn at 9.30 am on Saturday 17 June and due for submission on Sunday 18 June at 9.30 am

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Additional Policies for this Unit

Essays will be failed for the following reasons

1. Plagiarism – for example, where sentences or paragraphs are taken word-for-word or nearly word-for-word from another source and presented as original expression.   See the University's Academic Honesty Policy for an in depth explanation of what constitutes plagiarism.  Plagiarism is taken very seriously by the Convenor and the Department generally.  A plagiarised essay will get zero marks and the student will receive a fail grade. In addition it is Faculty policy that a note of the offence is placed on the student’s academic record. If this is a second offence the penalties may escalate to failure of the course, and expulsion from the degree.

2. Excessive use of direct quotes may result in a fail grade.  As a general rule no more than 10% of your overall word length should appear in direct quotes.  You must try to express your ideas and arguments in your own words as much as possible.  This demonstrates true understanding. 

3. Identical or nearly identical essays will all fail – regardless of the original authorship. 

4. Work that is significantly below the required word length

5. Essays written with poor English grammar and expression may be failed if the marker is unable to understand the argument(s) raised. 

Examination 

The only exception to sitting an examination at the designated time (above) is because of documented illness or unavoidable disruption. In these circumstances you may wish to consider applying for 'disruption of studies'. Consult the Disruption of Studies Policy (above) for further information.

If a Supplementary Examination is granted as a result of the Disruption of Studies process, the examination will be scheduled after the conclusion of the official examination period. 

You are advised that it is Macquarie University policy not to set early examinations for individuals or groups of students. All students are expected to ensure that they are available until the end of the teaching semester, that is the final day of the official examination period.

Extensions and Penalties

The following policies will apply in relation to the short paper and major research paper.

EXTENSIONS

Any student seeking an extension of time to submit their research paper must, except in extraordinary circumstances, submit to the Convenor (or have submitted on their behalf) a request in writing and supportive documentary evidence before the due date. Extensions will not be given other than in exceptional cases of illness.  In such cases, a certificate signed by a medical practitioner must be submitted as supportive documentary evidence. In extraordinary circumstances where a written request for an extension cannot be submitted, an application for an extension can be sought verbally. However, in such cases, any extension granted will be subject to the student subsequently submitting such documentary evidence as is deemed appropriate by the Convenor.  If an extension is sought due to the death of a family member, proof must be provided in the form of a death certificate.  

Whilst we do understand that many or most students support themselves through paid employment, extensions cannot be granted on this basis alone.  Students must manage their time and workloads accordingly.  Essay topics will be made available by the end of the first week of semester leaving ample time for essay preparation.  Meeting deadlines for assignments is treated very seriously in this course. Accordingly, the penalties for late submission are high.  

PENALTIES FOR LATE SUBMISSION

Any research paper that is submitted after the due date and without having obtained an extension will be penalised at a rate of 3% per day.  For example:  

  • a 9% penalty will be applied to an assignment that is 3 days late
  • a 21% penalty will be applied to an assignment that is 7 days late.  

Any paper that is submitted after the 10th day will not be marked and the student submitting such a paper will be deemed not to have completed and submitted the paper.

Assignment Submission

Hard copy submission of assignments will not be required for this course. All assignments are to be submitted online using the ilearn website for this unit. A turnitin link for submission will be set up there. Comments and grades will also be available online.

Turn-it-in

All written work in this course is also required to be uploaded onto turnitin by students at the time of submission. Work that is not uploaded onto turnitin will not be graded and will receive a mark of zero.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The development of a body of knowledge about: the nature and sources of international law; international law with respect to the use of force, terrorism, the sea, international crimes, international trade and the environment; the historical development of international law; and the specific core charters, functions, decision-making and dispute-settlement procedures and processes of the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, Kyoto Protocol, and the ICC.
  • The ability to understand and critically evaluate the theoretical approaches to international law and international relations within the IR discipline and to reflect upon the role of power on the formation and effective operation of international law.
  • The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.
  • The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  • The ability to express critical judgment about underlying theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in the field.

Assessment tasks

  • Task 1 - Online Participation
  • Task 2 - Mid-Semester Test
  • Task 2 - Long Paper
  • Task 4 - Final Exam

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both written work and oral presentations. This involves being able to identify and organise relevant information and to formulate persuasive, coherent and critical arguments.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.

Assessment tasks

  • Task 1 - Online Participation
  • Task 2 - Mid-Semester Test
  • Task 2 - Long Paper
  • Task 4 - Final Exam

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to understand and critically evaluate the theoretical approaches to international law and international relations within the IR discipline and to reflect upon the role of power on the formation and effective operation of international law.
  • The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.
  • The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  • The ability to express critical judgment about underlying theories, concepts, assumptions and arguments in the field.

Assessment tasks

  • Task 1 - Online Participation
  • Task 2 - Mid-Semester Test
  • Task 2 - Long Paper
  • Task 4 - Final Exam

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  • The ability to undertake independent research and analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Task 2 - Mid-Semester Test
  • Task 2 - Long Paper
  • Task 4 - Final Exam

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • The ability to reflect upon the ethical, political and cultural context which informs and influences the operation of international law and institutions.

Assessment task

  • Task 1 - Online Participation

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • The ability to formulate and defend policy recommendations on important issues regarding international law and institutions.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with ones peers on common projects.

Assessment task

  • Task 2 - Long Paper