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International Law in the 21st Century – Part 2: Real-World Applications

International Law in the 21st Century – Part 2: Real-World Applications

The perfect summer course for students embarking on a career in Law, or for those who have a general interest in the legal institutions and rules that underpin our society.

This one-week programme, residential on the campus of the University of Oxford, can be combined with “Part 1: Theory” from this series, to build a longer immersion in the subject and a longer stay in Oxford.

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Course Summary

This course is designed to prepare students to apply legal knowledge to real-life cases that could be encountered in professional life as a lawyer or solicitor, or as an observer in the media. 

Students will learn about the history of human rights, and will understand where human rights stem from and how they are defended both internationally and nationally. There will be a discussion on legal enshrinements of human rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It aims to teach students about public and private law from both a domestic and international perspective.

The fundamental concepts of tort law will be introduced and students will be able to clearly distinguish between private and public nuisance. There will then be a rigorous analysis of fundamental concepts in contract law and international arbitration. Different types of contract will be shown with case examples and the difference between an offer and an invitation to treat will be explained.

The course will round off by identifying authorities that deal with international disputes on various matters and set out the sources of their legitimacy. This will enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of a number of enforcement mechanisms applied by international bodies to establish their authority over international disputes. 

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course students will understand:

  • The fundamental concepts of human rights law, tort law, contract law and international commercial arbitration law.
  • What constitutes a private nuisance and the difference between public and private nuisance, applying the acquired knowledge to a range of real-life cases
  • The fundamental concepts that underpin a contract, and its key elements
  • The role of international dispute settlement through arbitration and international institutions

Course Outcomes

Monday Lecture 1: Human Rights Law
Seminar 1: When Strasbourg reigns over prisoners in the UK
Tuesday Lecture 2: Law of Tort – private v public nuisance
Seminar 2: Living on a ‘ship of fools’
Wednesday Lecture 3: Contract law offers v invitation to treat
Seminar 3: Oxford says ‘yes’ to everyone…
Thursday Lecture 4: International commercial arbitration
Seminar 4: Global enforcement – hard law v soft law
Friday Lecture 5: International dispute settlement and international institutions
Seminar 5: Presentations, course review and action planning


Assessment Methods

1 x Written Assignment (500-750 words)

1 x Group Presentation


Oxford College Accommodation

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 12+, 13-15, 16-18, 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single and twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & Shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1096 (University of Oxford)

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