Universität Wien FIND

030579 KU Territorial Disputes in International Law (2021W)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 36 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Saturday 16.10. 16:00 - 17:00 Digital (Kickoff Class)
Saturday 23.10. 16:00 - 21:30 Digital
Saturday 13.11. 16:00 - 21:30 Digital
Saturday 04.12. 16:00 - 21:30 Digital
Saturday 15.01. 16:00 - 21:30 Digital
Saturday 22.01. 16:00 - 21:30 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course is designed to furnish students with a basic understanding of past territorial disputes and an introduction to primarily oral advocacy skills, while allowing them to apply the knowledge gained to current, unresolved disputes.

A. Aims
Upon completion of this course, students will have acquired:

(1) A basic understanding of rules of public international law relevant to territorial disputes
(2) Knowledge of individual judicial decisions concerning past territorial disputes
(3) The ability to identify legal issues of and apply rules learned to current, unresolved territorial disputes and
(4) Written and oral advocacy skills

B. Contents
Units will be devoted to the following topics:

(1) Introduction
-Basic features and rules of public international law
-Fundamental legal issues and rules relevant to territorial disputes
-Selection of unresolved territorial disputes to be considered throughout the course

(2) Test, Disputes, Topics
-Limited test on the content of the first unit
-Review of judicial decisions on territorial disputes 1/2
-Distribution of chosen disputes to groups
-Explanation of formalities of the written outline

(3) Outlines, Disputes, Roles, Oral Advocacy
-Submission of written outlines
-Review of judicial decisions on territorial disputes 2/2
-Role allocation within groups
-Introduction to oral advocacy skills

(4) First Round of Oral Arguments
-First half of groups present dispute and oral arguments
-Brief feedback session

(5) Second Round of Oral Arguments
-Second half of groups present dispute and oral arguments
-Brief feedback session

C. Methods
Conveying both substantive knowledge and practical skills, the course will combine blended e-learning methods with frontal and interactive lectures, group research and drafting as well as individual oral argument exercises.

Assessment and permitted materials

The final grade will be based upon the following three components:

(1) A test of limited scope taken in the second unit (20%)
(2) A written outline (group project) submitted in the third unit (30%) and
(3) An oral presentation in one of the two final units (50%)

Attendance and class participation are mandatory.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Students do not require any particular legal skills or knowledge to participate in the course. While students will not be graded for their linguistic abilities, a command of the English language sufficient to provide written and oral contributions is necessary.

A basic understanding of public international law is an asset, but not required.

Examination topics

1. Written test (20% of the final grade)
A brief test will be held in the second unit, devoted to the fundamental principles of public international law and basics of territorial disputes discussed in the first unit.

2. Written outline (group project) (30%)
Participants will be grouped and choose a current and unresolved territorial dispute as the focus of their work in the second unit. Each group will submit a brief written outline detailing an agreed fact pattern and four core legal questions of their chosen dispute in the third unit.

3. Oral presentation (50%)
In the two final units, members of each group will present oral arguments on both sides of their chosen dispute.

Reading list

Participants will be furnished with a list of limited required and more comprehensive suggested readings via the Moodle e-learning platform.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 23.03.2023 00:13