Public International Law

A general introduction to the broadest topics in Public International Law. The depth of the course will be rather basic, aimed to give a rough outline for people unfamiliar with concepts of International Law, or people seeking a somewhat better overview of the subject. I would, nonetheless, be willing to answer any detailed and more specific questions should people have any.

  1. LECTURE 1 - Sources of Public International Law; The Relationship between Municipal Law and Public International Law

    In today's lecture we will begin with a brief introduction to the subject of Public International Law. We discuss pertinent topics such as the nature of PIL, whether it can be considered law. We will then consider what constitutes PIL and what the sources of PIL are.

    In the second part of this lecture we will consider the relationship between municipal law and PIL. The questions we ask are whether or not the two legal systems form part of a wider, unified legal order, how international courts treat municipal law, and how domestic courts treat international law.

    We round off the notes with a few questions that students can answer if they want to and have time. Please also head over to www.reddit.com/r/PIL for post-lecture discussions, where you can ask the class teachers any questions about the subject you may have. I hope to see you all there!

    Link to Part 1 of today's lecture

    Link to Part 2 of today's lecture

    • LECTURE 2 - International Personality, Statehood & Recognition

      I'm posting this a bit earlier than I would have liked to because I am busy later today. But I will still be around for questions at any time, immediately after the lecture, or after I am done with the commitments I have later. Anyway, on to the content of the lecture.

      In the second lecture in this series we will consider the concept of international personality. What does it mean to have international personality? And what powers do various international legal actors have on the international level?

      We will also discuss the question of statehood. When is an entity considered a state? What requirements are there, legally speaking, before a territory can effectively be considered a significant legal actor? We will focus on the creation of new states, with a specific emphasis on what is known as the 'right to self-determination', an important international legal concept.

      We will also discuss the question of the recognition of statehood, and how it interacts with determinations of statehood.

      We round off the notes, as always, with a few questions that students can answer, time permitting. Please head over to www.reddit.com/r/PIL for post-lecture discussions. Last week there was a dearth of questions and discussions, so hopefully there will be more enthusiasm today! I hope to see all of you there!

      Link to today's lecture




      Monday, 10 December, 2012 - LECTURE 1: Sources of Public International Law; The Relationship between Municipal Law & Public International Law

      Friday, 14 December, 2012 - LECTURE 2: International Personality, Statehood & Recognition

      Monday, 17 December, 2012 - LECTURE 3: Title to Territory

      Friday, 21 December, 2012 - LECTURE 4: Jurisdiction & Immunities

      Monday, 24 December, 2012 - LECTURE 5: The Law of Treaties (Could be moved to Wednesday, 26 December, 2012, because of Christmas)

      Friday, 28 December, 2012 - LECTURE 6: State Responsibility

      Monday, 31 December, 2012 - LECTURE 7: The Legal Regulation of the Use of Force (jus ad bellum)

      Friday, 4 January, 2013 - LECTURE 8: Peaceful Settlements of International Disputes (The International Court of Justice)

      Additional information

      After each lecture, please head on over to reddit.com/r/PIL for discussion on each lecture, where you can ask questions or engage in discussions on the topic. This is an ESSENTIAL part of the learning process, if you want a good understanding of the subject of Public International Law, I don't envision reading the notes we produce will be enough.

      You will also notice that at the end of each lecture, there will be questions for students to answer. Please take time to give a thought out and reasoned answer to the questions (time permitting). Remember, the class teachers are here to dedicate time to your learning, and this is a free resource from people qualified in Public International Law, so take advantage of it for the duration of the course! For feedback on those answers, please send them in an email to danielqysteel@gmail.com.

      Link to interest check thread on /r/UniversityofReddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/UniversityofReddit/comments/1499l7/interestcheckpublicinternationallaw/

      Link to class subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/PIL

      Teacher qualifications

      Daniel Steel (toffeeapple89) - Bachelor of Arts (Law) (Cantab); Master of Laws (International Legal Studies) (Georgetown); Solicitor & Advocate, Singapore (expected)

      JJEagleHawk - Juris Doctor; Master of Laws (UCL); Qualified U.S. lawyer

      NWP1984 - Master of Arts (Law) (Cantab); Master of Laws (International Law) (Nottingham); Solicitor, England & Wales

      Latest Update
      LECTURE 2 (2012-12-14 15:34:37)

      "New lecture has been posted! Please check it out and then head over to www.reddit.com/r/PIL for questions and discussion."