Exploring the boundaries of international law
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.