Spring 2022 - IS 309 D100

Special Topics in International Security and Conflict (4)

International Law

Class Number: 5320

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 1530, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



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


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 fastchanging, 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 Exam 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.



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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.