Spring 2020 - IS 309 D100

Special Topics in International Security and Conflict (4)

International Law

Class Number: 6551

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 1325, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



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


This course 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 Nations 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, both in class and on the course website.   


  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Class Presentation and Participation 30%
  • Final Paper (due April 9) 40%


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

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.



International Law: A Critical Introduction. Karen Openshaw & Wade Mansell. Hart Publishing, 2019.

ISBN: 9781509926725

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