Fall 2020 - IS 309 D100

Special Topics in International Security and Conflict (4)

International Law

Class Number: 4998

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Specific details of courses to be offered will be published prior to enrollment each term.


The course will be taught primarily in asynchronous mode, with periodic synchronous meetings.
Students are required to have a computer with microphone/camera & stable internet connection.

Students who have taken POL 344 (International Law) may not take this class for credit.

This is an introduction to the principles, practices and institutions that govern relations among states as well as non-state actors in global affairs. At once centuries-old yet fast-changing, public international law is of great practical and theoretical interest.

Fresh challenges with regard to climate change, humanitarian intervention, surveillance, migration, nuclear proliferation, and digital networks, among others, make this a particularly exciting field. States increasingly depend on international organizations and institutions — from the specialized agencies of the United to the European Union, International Criminal Court, World Trade Organization, and International Red Cross — in pursuing their interests and resolving disputes. Meanwhile, we must attend to the evolution of state sovereignty, the special character of a legal system without a central enforcement agency, and the growing role of civil society in global affairs. Multimedia resources will supplement the course text in lectures as well as the course website.  


  • Take-Home Midterm 30%
  • Group Presentation 20%
  • Participation 10%
  • Final Paper 40%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.

Students who have taken POL 344 (International Law) may not take this class for credit.


This course will be delivered via online platforms, such as Zoom, Canvas, Blackboard, etc.

Students are required to have a computer, with a microphone, webcam, and speakers. They also must have good access to the Internet.

Microsoft Office is required, and a free version of Office 365 is available to SFU students here: https://www.sfu.ca/itservices/technical/software/office365.html.

Students will be required to upload assignments to Canvas and through Turnitin.com.



International Law: A Critical Introduction. Karen Openshaw & Wade Mansell.  Hart, 2019. ISBN: 978-1509926725 (pbk).  E-book ISBN: 9781509926718.

Supplementary readings will be posted on the course website (Canvas).

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).