LAW 3539 - International Legal Practice: Interpretative Approaches
North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2016
General Course Information
Course Code LAW 3539 Course International Legal Practice: Interpretative Approaches Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School Term Winter Level Undergraduate Law (LLB) Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Intensive Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites LAW1501 and LAW 2520 or LAW1508 Restrictions Available to LLB students only Course Description This course provides students with an understanding of the theory and practice of interpretation in international law. Interpretation of legal texts forms the foundation for understanding international legal obligations. This course will consider interpretation from the perspective of examining who in the international legal order has the authority to interpret and how choices are made. The course will consider the scholarly literature on interpretative theories. The practice of interpretation will also be examined drawing from different contexts such as Security Council resolutions, multilateral and bilateral treaties. Case studies will be undertaken including for example; The international law governing Armed Drones, Fact Finding, The Right to Water and Sanitation, Transparency in Investor State Dispute Settlements in Free Trade Agreements. The aim of the course is to provide students with both a practical and theoretical appreciation of interpretative issues in the international legal system.
Course Coordinator: Dr Rebecca LaForgia
Dr Rebecca La Forgia
Room 2.10, Ligertwood Building
Phone: 08 8313 0877
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
- To develop an understanding of the theory and practice of international legal interpretation in a variety of contexts.
- To understand and to develop competence in dealing with some of the central issues concerning the creation of meaning at an international level including; the tension between values, the range of participants in the interpretive process and the difficulty of finding agreed facts on which to base judgements.
- To critically examine the operation and application of international law in practical contexts.
- To develop skills involved in interpretative methods, including reflective written skills and communication skills of listening and persuasion.
- Present persuasive and detailed written arguments based on contemporary international legal research.
- Develop written and oral skills to explore and defend legal interpretative positions from a variety of perspectives.
- To undertake self-directed international legal research that supports interpretative arguments over contemporary applications of international law in society.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1,3,4,5,6,7 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
2,3,5,6,7 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
4,5,6 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
2,3,7 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Required ResourcesAll required readings and resources will be available online via MyUni. There will also be the choice to purchase the compiled readings in one collated bundle.
Recommended ResourcesA list of recommended readings will be made available through My Uni. My Uni will also feature a page of links to useful internet resources and news articles. These will be particularly helpful in locating material on contemporary international events and issues relevant to the course.
The course is supported by the International Legal Practice; Interpretative Approaches. MyUni website. The website contains links to the following resources:
1. Course information, including the Course Profile and the seminar and lecture guide.
2. Course materials – such as items of assessment, lecture PowerPoint slides, and other course materials which will be posted from time to time.
Lectures – audio streaming of lectures and video streaming of lecture slides will be posted (where available) under the Course Materials link as soon as possible after each lecture. This is subject as always to the technology working, so attendance is encouraged.
4. Discussion Board – This is available for students to discuss the course amongst themselves and to communicate with the course coordinator in relation to administrative or substantive questions about the course.
5. Grade book – where students’ grades will be entered for each assignment.
MyUni will also be used to post announcements, and assignment tasks. Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course. Students should also regularly check their email
6. Students will also have access to ‘articulate story line’ a new software programme to support some interactive modules run during the course.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course will be taught intensively. Each day will have six contact
These contact hours will include some short lectures, but
predominantly involve large and small group discussion and activities in
which students will be required to research, discuss, debate and defend
their analysis of the relevant material set in the course readings.
It is absolutely critical that students have undertaken the reading before
coming to class.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
The information below is provided as a guide to assiststudents in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
Contact time: the course will be made up of sixdays each with six hours of contact. The days will commence at 10 am and concludeat 5 pm. This amounts to 36 hours of formal class time during the wintersemester.
Preparation time: In addition to attending formalclasses it is anticipated that students will do substantial independentwork to prepare for classes and to complete the course assignments. TheUniversity expects full time students (those undertaking 12 units per semester)to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.
Learning Activities Summary
CLASSES DAY TOPIC Class One Tuesday am Introduction; Course requirements, assessment and skills based exercises Class Two Tuesday pm What is the importance of legal Interpretive theory and practice in a non-judicial
Class Three Thursday am Interpreting Security Council Resolutions. Class Four Thursday pm The ‘silent’ background to interpretation Fact Finding. Class Five Friday am Interpretative Choices ; Use and Procurement of Armed Drones Class Six Friday pm
Q and A Revision session for take home assessment and trial of group activity.
Class Seven Tuesday am Evolving and contemporary interpretation; Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Rights Class Eight Tuesday pm Interpretative Choices; The right to Water, Toilets and Sanitation Class Nine Thursday am Interpretative lenses; Gender The evolution of SC Res 1325
Rights of Women and Girls Armed Conflict
Class Ten Thursday pm Balancing Interpretation; Right to access to medicines and international trade and transparency. Class Eleven Friday am Group activity for assessment Class Twelve Friday pm Review and Q and A
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task % of Final Mark Due Date Redeemable Take home test comprised of a choice of 2 short essay questions. You are to do one of the questions. The answer should be 1,000 words in total.
20% Wednesday the 13th of July 4.00pm No Group Presentation
10% In class Yes
Research Essay 3,000 words. Compulsory.
70 or 80
Friday 5th August 4.00pm
All assessment tasks are compulsory.
1. Take Home Test:
Worth 20%. The Take Home test will be distributed to students on the first day of class.
Every student must complete an answer to the two short essys for submission
by Wednesday the 13th of July at 4.00pm. This is an individual piece of assessment. It will
cover material covered in the first week on this Winter Intensive. It is NOT redeemable
and no extensions will be granted. DUE DATE: Wednesday 13th of July 4.00pm. The word lenghth is 1,000 words.
2. Group Presentation
Class presentation (10%) group task which will occur on Friday the the 15th of July ( the last teaching day of the Winter school). Students will be required to prepare and present to the group on a topic to be determined in the first class. On day three of Winter school the groups will be finalised and there will be a futher refinement of the topic.
3. Research Essay
A 3,000 word research paper ( 70% or 80%) on topics to be assigned during week 1 of the intensive.
Assignments must be handed in electronically by Turnitin.Students must ensure their student number appears on all written work submitted for assessment.Electronic copies of the assignment as handed in must be retained by students.Assignments will be returned electronically. It is also advisable to keep written work after it has been assessed and returned.ExtensionsExtensionsare granted at the discretion of Course Coordinator. Extensions beyond the due date are usually only granted in the case of significant unforeseen incapacity.Students who wish to apply, should apply for an extension by completing the online Application for Extension form (found at http://www.law.adelaide.edu.au/student/forms/).
The application must give details of the extent and length of the student’s incapacity, and the length of extension that is requested. The Course Coordinator will email students with the outcome of their request as soon as possible after it is received. If an extension is granted, it is only provisional until formal evidence of the incapacity is received. Students must attach this evidence as well as the email granting the extension to the assignment when it is submitted.
The evidence submitted must be consistent with details provided in the email requesting the extension. If the details of the request for an extension, and the medical or other evidence verifying the reason for the extension are not consistent in all respects, the extension may be nullified, and the Course Coordinator may in their discretion decide not to accept the assignment, or impose a penalty for late submission.You can apply for an extension at any time before the due date for an assignment. However, you are strongly advised to make your application as soon as the need becomes apparent.
Delay in making an application obviously involves the risk that there will be insufficient time to complete the assignment (with consequential loss of marks) if the application for extension is refused.If an application is made within two days of the due date, or after the due date has expired, it will not be granted unless the Course Co-ordinator is satisfied: that the circumstances warrant an extension; and there was no unreasonable delay in making the application. If your request for an extension is rejected, you can appeal in writing to the Student Appeals Committee, via the Secretary to the Student Appeals Committee, within seven days of notification of rejection by the Course Co-ordinator.
PenaltiesPenalties for Late Submission5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within thefirst 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised accordingly.Penalties for Exceeding Stipulated Word Length Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.
For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/
Lex Salus Program
Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.
The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at https://www.adelaide.edu.au/counselling_centre/.
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
Plagiarism and other forms of cheating
Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.
Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.
Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.
The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.