Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3181: United Nations Law

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the Law of the United Nations. You will be introduced to the main functions, tasks and working methods of the United Nations. Particular emphasis will be put on the United Nations as a system of collective security in a globalised world and how the United Nations works with its Member States as well as with other international organisation as partners in maintaining and securing international peace and security. As part of this module, we will criticially discuss the success of the United Nations in its contribution to international peace but we will also discuss challenges and potential failures of the existing model. Throughout this module, we will examine how the United Nations is addressed by international law as an international organisation but also how the United Nations in turn shapes the international legal system. We will also identify the UN’s special role within the international community.

The module United Nations Law will be taught in a law in context approach and will be research-led and research-based, introducing you to the process of conducting research at undergraduate level in order to develop your own research skills as vital transferable skills.The research-inspired approach will also be reflected in the seminar tasks as well as in the assessment design. As a formative assessment, you will have the opportunity to prepare a research paper proposal on an assigned essay topic. You will also get the possibility to obtain further feedback on your work following a poster presentation as one of your seminar tasks. The summative assessment will consist of an essay, providing you with the opportunity to reflect on the previous feedback obtained.

Students who complete the module will have acquired a solid understanding of the role and functions of the United Nations and its law; the United Nation’s relationship with other international actors as partners of the United Nations in crisis management as well as of the relationship between the UN and its Member States.

The combination of theoretical approaches with a discussion of recent developments relating to the United Nations and their practical implications will be of particular interest to you if you intend to work for an international organisation, if you are interested in a career in public international law or if you are interested in the United Nations as an international actor more generally.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate detailed knowledge of the legal framework regulating the role and functions of the United Nations as an international organisation in general;
2. demonstrate critical understanding of the legal and political relationships between the UN and regional organisations;
3. demonstrate critical understanding of the legal relationship and political relationship between the United Nations and its Member States;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of legal concepts, values, principles, organs and procedures, and explain the relationships among them in the area of United Nations Law;
5. select and explain relevant information from primary and secondary legal sources using appropriate methods for investigating and evaluating them as well as appropriate interpretative techniques;
Personal and Key Skills6. manage relevant learning resources/ information/learning strategies and develop your own arguments and opinions with some guidance;
7. communicate effectively and accurately, orally and in writing, in a manner appropriate to the discipline/different contexts;
8. identify, retrieve and use efficiently a range of library-based and electronic resources with some guidance;
9. work independently and manage time efficiently in preparing for scheduled learning activities, exercises and assessments.