Course Title: Public International Law

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Public International Law

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Jonathan Kolieb

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 13

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge: Becoming a Lawyer in Globalised World, Australian Government and Statutory Interpretation

Course Description

In this course, you are introduced to the diverse areas of Public International Law. You will learn key concepts, principles and rules of this area of law, and develop an understanding of how public international law governs relations between States, and between States and non-State actors, and between States and their citizenry.

Fundamental concepts such as the creation of States, diplomatic immunity and the sources of international law will be explored. You will critically examine how specialised areas of public international law respond to global challenges, such as the protection of human rights, promotion of international trade, and use of armed force in international relations. You will be provided opportunities to reflect and critique the relationship between domestic and international law and assess global events through the perspective of international law.   

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


On successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

CLO1: Assess public international law rules and principles and how they govern the behaviour and relations among States and non-State actors in international affairs.

CLO2: Apply international legal rules and principles to contemporary global issues.

CLO3: Evaluate the utility of international law in responding to global challenges and political crises within the international system.

CLO4: Critique the role of the United Nations, and related institutions, in pursuing its aims and promoting international law.

CLO5: Research, analyse and evaluate international legal issues.

Overview of Learning Activities

To achieve the objectives this course requires you to participate in various learning activities. These activities comprise of lectures, tutorials, self-directed learning, participation through in-class and online activities, legal writing exercises, collaborating with peers on set tasks or projects, and a final examination.

Overview of Learning Resources

Various learning resources are available online through MyRMIT Studies\Canvas. The lecture notes and workshop notes are posted on Canvas.

Resources are also available online through RMIT Library databases and other facilities. Visit the RMIT library website for further details. Assistance is available online via our chat and email services, face to face at our campus libraries or via the telephone on (03) 9925 2020.

Additional resources and/or sources to assist your learning will be identified by your course coordinator and will be made available to you as required during the teaching period. 

Overview of Assessment

The assessment tasks, their weighting and the course learning outcomes to which they are aligned are as follows:

Assessment Task 1: 20%
Linked CLOs: 1, 2

Assessment Task 2: 40%
Linked CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment Task 3: 40%
Linked CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or in online forums through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.