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Exploring the boundaries of international law

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This free course, Exploring the boundaries of international law, is designed to provide you with an introduction to key concepts underpinning your study of international law. It introduces the concept of international legal personality, explores the status of the state, the principle of sovereignty and summarises the principles of jurisdiction.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand the concept of international legal personality and the identity of the subjects of international law
  • understand the nature of a state and how a state is created and recognised in international law
  • understand the principle of sovereignty and of the operation of jurisdiction
  • critically engage with complex, current and emerging legal and international issues.

By: The Open University

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Exploring the boundaries of international law

Introduction

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This OpenLearn free course is designed to provide you with an introduction to key concepts which underpin the study of international law. It introduces the concept of international legal personality, explores the status of the state, examines the principle of sovereignty and summarises the principles of jurisdiction. The course focuses on areas which are of special relevance to contemporary events.

The course begins by considering how legal status is achieved in international law both for states and non-state actors. It then focuses on the concept of the state. It considers how a state is created and the implications of recognition or non-recognition of a state by other states. The topical issues of self-determination, secession, failed states and sovereignty are introduced. The course concludes by explaining the principles and implications of jurisdiction and considers some of its different and more controversial applications.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course W821 Exploring the boundaries of international law [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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