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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Political Science (PL SC)

PL SC 487 International Law and Organizations (3) Major topics and issues of international law with special attention to institutional arrangements (international organizations) through which that law operates.

PL SC 487 International Law and Organizations (3)

The course is useful in two distinct ways. First, it aids in the understanding of how countries conduct their relations with one another. Second, studying international law-it is a distinct system of law-- helps students to assess whether they might be suited for law school.

The course introduces international law and international governmental organizations (the two are closely linked) and their role in the management of peaceful relations among countries as well as during international conflict. Both the contributions and limitations of international law will be analyzed. International law is viewed both as a body of norms countries feel an obligation to follow and as a means of communication among countries.

Major topics covered include sources of international law, human rights law, environmental law, economic law, law of the sea, and the use of force. There are several hundred major intergovernmental organizations. Several of the most prominent will be discussed including the UN, the WTO, the European Union, the International Labor Organization, and the International Court of Justice.

Examinations are principally of the essay variety although a command of factual information is essential to success in the course. Students also prepare critiques of important international legal cases (many of which have been decided by national courts) and of treaties (the principal modern manifestation of international law).


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Fall 2007
Prerequisite: PL SC 003 orPL SC 014

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.