LAW313 International Public and Private Law (8)

This subject introduces students to public international law and its significance for Australian law. Using case studies and in-depth analysis of international human rights in Australia, this subject concentrates on key themes and emerging trends in the international community. Private international law (also known as Conflict of Laws) and its distinction to public international law is compared and contrasted. Students are also introduced to the principles by which an Australian court applies the law of another country or state.


Session 1 (30)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: LAW313. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Criminal Justice students only

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of operative framework of international law;
  • be able to interpret and critically analyse treaties, declarations, and related international legal instruments, and identify areas of deficiency in the context of humanitarian law and human rights protection, including the limitations of the concept of state sovereignty;
  • be able to articulate the relationship between international and domestic law to a variety of audiences;
  • be able to analyse critically case law pertaining to disputes between states, including critically reflecting upon the potential for international law to be a socially progressive force;
  • be able to discuss the elements of private international law and their distinctions with public international law;
  • be able to apply the rules of treaty interpretation and customary law practices to solve hypothetical problems within this area of law;
  • be able to critique the role of the United Nations, and other international bodies and tribunals, including the effectiveness of the International Criminal Court;
  • be able to demonstrate reflective and critical thinking skills, together with the use of professional judgement, to discuss how international law shapes Australia's domestic laws, including rights, obligations and responsibilities;
  • be able to undertake independent legal research to communicate informed legal opinion on issues surrounding private international law, otherwise known as the law of conflict of laws; and
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of Australia's international human rights obligations regarding Indigenous Australians.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to international law
  • The relationship between domestic and international law, including the distinction between public and private international law
  • State sovereignty, responsibility, limitations and jurisdictional issues
  • The law of conflict of laws: origins and rationale
  • Multi-state legal problems, including the enforcement of foreign judgements
  • Introduction to 'Choice of Law' theory and method
  • Sources of public international law, including treaties, declarations, and related international legal instruments
  • Structure and role of the United Nations
  • International disputes between sovereign states, including rights, obligations and responsibilities
  • Adjudication and enforcement of public international law
  • International Court of Justice
  • International trade law
  • International human rights law
  • International humanitarian law
  • International criminal law and the International Criminal Court
  • International maritime law and the law of the sea

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of LAW313 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Progress assessment - online quiz
Legal research essay
Legal scenario (analysis and response)

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The 2-day residential school for this subject is optional. It will cover the seminar topics relevant to the subject with particular emphasis on relevant case law, precedents and legislation.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.