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International Law in the 21st Century

International Law in the 21st Century

A two-week summer course for young adults wishing to learn the fundamentals of International Law, residential in a top UK university.

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Course Summary

The course focuses on recent developments in the field of international law, and guides students through the central debates within the discipline. It begins with the philosophy of law, seeking to help students understand the origin of laws, and enter a legal mindset. It then covers the main theories of international law, drawing from realism to liberal institutionalism and constructivism.

This course offers a thorough grounding in the principles of Law across key topics, and how the systems of Law that we have, are justified from a philosophical standpoint. Additionally, it offers valuable training in debating and discussing complex and often controversial topics in a respectful way; a skill that is valuable not only at university but also in the workplace. Law requires clear and precise communication, and a key aim of this course is to train all students in communicating in this way.

How will the International Law course help me?

This course is aimed at gap year students, current undergraduates, and any other adult learners who wish to expand their understanding of Law with like-minded peers from all over the world. It’s particularly suitable for students interested in topics adjacent to Law; for instance, for students of Politics, International Relations or History, or those who are interested in working in law enforcement, local government or the Civil Service. They might also be current undergraduates who are considering a Law conversion course upon graduation, in which case this introduction to Law, at a higher level than they might previously have encountered, is sure to be invaluable. However, students might also choose to take this course if they studied Law at school and would like to refresh their memory and build on that knowledge, or even if they are studying a completely unrelated subject and simply find the world of Law fascinating – as so many people do.


This two-week course is aimed at adults who are keen to learn the fundamentals of International Law in the 21st century. Prior legal training is not required, as all the necessary concepts will be covered during this intensive course.

What to expect from the International Law course

A comparative law perspective applied in this course enables students to gain a better understanding of legal systems all over the globe. The course covers Human Rights and explores the role played by international institutions in an interconnected world. It also addresses international dispute settlement, highlighting some of the most famous cases of disputes between countries, or between states and non-state actors. By discussing international commercial arbitration, we explore in this course the ways in which international agreements and arbitration awards are enforced globally through hard law and soft law.




Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have:

The table below gives an indication of the subject areas that will be covered in each day’s lecture and seminar. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, please note that topics and timings may be subject to change.
DayWeek 1Week 2

Monday Lesson 1: Justice. The Morality of Law Lesson 6: Lecture- Human Rights Law
Seminar: Would you ever kill an innocent person? Seminar: When Strasbourg reigns over prisoners in the UK
Tuesday Lesson 2: Theory of International Law Field Trip or Guest Speakers
Seminar: What kind of world do we (Want to) live in?
Lesson 3: Lecture- Comparative Constitutional Law
Presentation: Yes! That’s how we settle disputes in my country
Wednesday Lesson 4: Lecture- When a guilty mind meets a guilty act Group project presentations
Seminar: Let the blind man die?!
Thursday Field Trip or Guest Speakers Lesson 7: Lecture- Law of Tort Private v Public nuisance
Seminar: Living on a ship of fools
Lesson 8: Contract Law offers v Invitation to treat
Seminar: Oxford says YES… To everyone.
Friday Lesson 5: Lecture- International criminal law Lesson 9: Lecture- International Commercial Arbitration
Seminar: Global enforcement, Hard Law v Soft Law
Lesson 10: Lecture- International dispute settlement
Seminar: Who deals with that?


Take This Course If…

Take this course if you are considering a career in Law or you are passionate about legal justice.


Lady Margaret Hall

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 13-15, 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single & twin (please note that we are unable to accept requests for particular room types)
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1878

Cambridge University Accommodation

  • Location Cambridge
  • Ages Ages: 16-18 & 19+ (separate accommodation)
  • Bedroom Type Single & twin
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in University of Cambridge was founded in 1209

Merton College

  • Location Oxford
  • Ages Ages: 19+
  • Bedroom Type Single
  • Bathroom Type En-suite & shared (single gender)
  • Year Built Founded in 1264

Further Information

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Availability for: International Law in the 21st Century

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