Handbook

LAWS90084 Comparative Foreign Affairs Law

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

November, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start 01-Nov-2017
Teaching Period 29-Nov-2017 to 05-Dec-2017
Assessment Period End 26-Feb-2018
Last date to Self-Enrol 30-Jun-2017
Census Date 29-Nov-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 19-Jan-2018

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.



Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 29-33 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.

Prerequisites:

Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: None

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Students should have taken subjects in both constitutional law and international law.

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.

Contact

Lecturer

Professor David Sloss, Coordinator

Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

Constitutions in most countries grant power over external affairs to national (not sub-national) governments and to the political branches (not the courts). However, the allocation of governmental power over external affairs is changing in response to changing conditions. In recent years, executive officials have responded to novel national security threats by appropriating power previously exercised by legislatures. The rapid growth of cross-border activities has given domestic courts a greater role in cases implicating external affairs. The global diffusion of international human rights norms has shifted responsibility for compliance with international legal obligations from national to sub-national governments. The subject will explore these developments. Students interested in the intersection between law and foreign affairs will benefit from this subject.

Professor Sloss is an internationally renowned expert in both United States foreign affairs law and comparative constitutional law.

This subject provides a comparative perspective on the allocation of governmental power over the conduct of external affairs. Subject materials will draw primarily from four countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Principal topics include:

  • An overview of constitutional structure in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States
  • The division of foreign affairs powers between national and sub-national governments (focusing on Australia, Canada and the United States)
  • The division of foreign affairs powers between the legislative and executive branches (focusing on the four main countries, plus Israel)
  • The role of the judiciary in cases implicating both external affairs and individual rights (focusing on the four main countries, plus South Africa)
  • The scope of immunity granted to foreign sovereigns in the domestic courts of other states (focusing on the four main countries, plus New Zealand).
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of constitutional principles related to the allocation of governmental power over the conduct of external affairs in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US
  • Be able to exam, analyse, and critically assess the practical implications of relevant constitutional and statutory principles and rules for the conduct of external affairs
  • Be an engaged participant in debates regarding emerging and contemporary issues at the intersection of law and foreign affairs
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of factors and processes that are changing the de facto division of foreign affairs powers between national and sub-national governments, between legislative and executive branches, and between the political branches and the courts
  • Have an advanced understanding of the domestic and international legal rules governing the immunity of foreign sovereigns in the domestic courts of other states
  • Have an advanced understanding of the ways in which global diffusion of international human rights norms has shifted responsibility for compliance with international legal obligations from national to sub-national governments
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to the optimal allocation of governmental power over external affairs
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues at the intersection of law and foreign affairs
  • Have the communication skills to articulate and convey complex information regarding constitutional and statutory foreign affairs law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of comparative foreign affairs law.
Assessment:
  • Class participation (10%)
  • 7,500 - 9,000 word research paper (90%) (26 February 2018) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: law.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Government Law
Graduate Diploma in International Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law

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