Topic outline

  • General

    PSCI. 113: The Geography of International Law
    BC 101 T and Th at 10:25-11:40

    Principles, Texts, and Cases

    The purpose of this course is to acquaint you with the principles of international law as these are found in major international law texts and in the most important cases of this area of jurisprudence. The idea of geography should be understood in two senses of the term: 1) intellectual geography or the structure of international law, the focus of which is the sovereignty of nation -states, and 2) in terms of the maps and drawings that often play key roles in international law cases. The purpose of the course is to exhibit these international law principles by way of this dual understanding of geography, the one of the mind and the intellect and the other of states and their possessions on planet earth and beyond.

    Textbook
    : Cases and Materials on International Law (Oxford University Press, 2003, 4th edition) by Martin Dixon and Robert McCorquodable. I picked and stayed with this text because it includes lots of excerpts from international legal texts. So pay attention to these texts and statutes when they come up in the assigned readings, and be sure to link them to the assigned cases. Know where they fit into our geography of international law. The Nutcases book that is also in the bookstore will be used in the final exam in a manner to be announced later. At some point or other we may look at the handout 100 Ways. Each of you will be assigned one of the Ways and report to that Way in class when we need or want to kill time. So, be ready to do that and always have it with you. Here is a dictionary of Latin phrases that you may run across in the material for this course, and that you should consult.

    There are eight main Parts to this course and to our syllabus and 27 sessions, each number (1, 2, etc.) stands for a class period on Tuesday or Thursday at 10:25-11:40. The last session is the final comprehensive exam, the date of which the the registrar sets.

    S1. Introduction. Here I will introduce you to the geography of the international legal system and to the websites that you will need to use in this course.

  • Topic 1

    Part I What Counts as a State?

    The Principles of Sovereignty, Jurisdiction and Recognition

    S2. Historical and Legal Background Readings: please get yourself ready for this course by doing these three pieces of background readings: one on the Birth of States, and two on the Present System. Please take a look at and browse in this copy of the Treaty of the Peace of Westphalia. Do you see how this treaty helped shape today's political world? Please take a close look at these maps.

    Click here to see a map of the Westphalian World
    Click here to see a map of all the states we now have

    S3. The Principles of Sovereignty and Jurisdiction.

    In the textbook read chapter 5, section 1A (Personality and Recognition) and the selections by Crawford and Charlesworth and the articles of the Montivedeo Convention. Also, read section 1 of chapter 8. Take a look at the first 8 or 9 chapters of the UN Charter and mark the Articles where you see the sovereignty of states underscored. Do you see any limits on that sovereignty? Where?.

    Do the German-Austria Customs Case, which you will find in this link by clicking on Series A/B 41 Advisory Opinion PDF at the top of the link. Now be careful! When you click on the PDF link for this advisory opinion instruct your printer to print only the even pages. That will give you the English text only and you will save some money. (This may happen with other assignments as well.)
    Here is a map of Austria.

    S4. The Principle of Recognition by Other States

    Read these Statutes of the International Court of Justice and the discussion of them on pages 585-597 of our textbook.

    Read the Luther v. Sagor Case on pages 161-162 in our textbook.

    Norwegian Loans Case (France v Norway) ICJ Rep 1955 9 (scroll down read the English version of this case).


    • Topic 2

      Part II Leftovers: Islands, Border Disputes, and Peoples

      S5. Islands

      Read sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Chapter 7 in the textbook. Use these cases to exhibit the principles involved:

      Palmas (235 and 244)

      Clipperton (236) Click here for a map of Clipperton Island.

      Chamizal (237)

      Click here for a list of UN resolutions regarding the ongoing dispute over the Falkland Islands between Argentina and the United Kingdom. Click here for a map of Argentina's claims to the Falkland Islands which they refer to as the Malvinas. Here is a 2009 article from the [London] Times regarding Britain's response to Argentina's newest claims. After doing this background reading, you will be assigned a position on the dispute and must construct a case either supporting Argentina's claim or defending the islands' current status as a British Overseas Territory.

      Eastern Greenland (1932) Case Or lick here.
      Click here for the judgment in the Greenland Case on which a student will report.
      Click here for a map of Greenland and here for needed details.

      S6. Border Disputes

      Read sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Chapter 7 and use these cases to exhibit the principles involved:

      Temple Case (1959) on pg. 247

      Click here for a map of the disputed area between Thailand and Cambodia. Click here for a the key Annex I map of the 1904 Commission mentioned in the case and the line it supposedly drew. Here is a picture of Bardya's induction into the map hall of fame.

      Additionally, click here for a collection of maps and pictures illustrating the case.

      China and Japan Border Dispute

      S7. The Right to Self-Determination of Peoples
      Read section 5 of Chapter 7 and section 6 of Chapter 6 on the right to self-determination.
      Do these cases:
      Click here for the Western Sahara (1974) case on which a student will report.
      Click here for a contextual map of Western Sahara.
      Click here for a political map of Western Sahara
      Click here for population density. Click here for Morocco take overs.
      East Timor (1995) Case
      Click here for a map of East Timor.


      • Topic 3

        Part III The Reach of States at Home

        General Principles of Jurisdiction

        S8. Over their own territory and citizens
        Read Chapter 8 (pages 268-283) carefully and and make up a list of what the categories of jurisdiction are that you find in these pages and find cases that might go with these categories in this part III of the course.
        Click here for the location of Liechtenstein in Europe, it is highlighted in red.
        Read the Nottebohm case.

        S9. Over foreigners/aliens on their soil

        Reread the Lotus case discussed on pages 270/271 of our textbook and read about the nature of State responsibility (Chapter 11, sections 1 -5)
        Now read the The Lotus Case (1927) itself.
        Click here for a map of Europe in the Interwar Period.

        S10. Over (foreign) companies on their soil

        Finish Chapter 11, section 6 on the nationalization and expropriation of non-nationals' property. Browse British Petroleum's Website to get an idea about how a multinational corporation is spread around the world and how this creates jurisdictional issues. Take a look at Barclay's website to see how a modern multinational banking conglomerate spreads it activities.

        Read this case of FIRST NAT. CITY BANK v. BANCO PARA EL COMERCIO, 462 U.S. 611 (1983), United States Court of Appeals for the Second District No. 81-984. Argued March 28, 1983, Decided June 17, 1983.

        S11. Over the Seas Beyond their Shores

        Click here for a diagram of the various extensions of the land mass of a country.
        Click here for a map displaying the Exclusive Economic Zone claims by the nations of the world.
        Read Chapter 10, all the sections except 6 and 7

        Click here for the North Sea Continental Shelf Case. Print out the even pages of the Judgment on February 20, 1969. You will find the supposed essence of the case in our textbook on pages 364-366.Click here for a map of the disputed area.
        Click here for a map of Exclusive Economic Zones in the North Sea, which this case helped create.

        S12. Over their own airspace

        Read chapter 7, section 6 part B pages 260-263
        Click here for the location of the Lockerbie Air Disaster Site in Scotland.
        Read the Scottish High Court of Justiciary case against the Lockerbie bombers in the Netherlands. Click here for the judgment. This particular part of the judgment gives a wonderful insight into the collection of forensic evidence and detective work that often needs to be done in cases of this kind.
        In August 2009, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, one of the Lockerbie bombers was released by the Scottish Government and permitted to return to Libya on compassionate grounds. Click here for the Scottish Justice Secretary's statement concerning the release. Click here for the corresponding BBC news article.

        S13. Over their own Markets, Except when...

        Read chapter 13 "international Economic Law" in our textbook.
        Click here for a map of all current WTO members.
        Click here for the link to the WTO homepage.
        Click here for the link to the WTO Dispute Settlement website.
        In the column of subjects pick a commodity (like toothpaste?) that your are interested in, then find a case having to do with that commodity and report on the original or (if there is one) the Appellate Body (=A/B) decision. Bring to class a two page summary of your case (explaining which country brought a case against which one and why).

        S14. Examination

        • Topic 4

          Part IV Immunities from the Jurisdiction of Other States

          S15. Embassies and their personnel
          Read chapter 9 of our textbook "Immunities from National Jurisdiction" : pages 301- 327 and 335-347)
          Click here for an example of the diplomatic missions of the United States.
          Click here for the United States v. Iran both in our textbook and this ICJ Judgement on which a student will report.Click here for a map of Iran.

          S16. Military Bases and their personnel
          Read Holland v Lampen-Wolfe on pages 307-308 and 321-322. Click here for the Holland v Lampen-Wolfe judgement from the House of Lords. Click here for a map of RAF Menwith Hill, the base in North Yorkshire where the case happened.
          Read United States v The Public Service Alliance of Canada on pages 335-336. Click here for a map of Argentia, the town where the base was located in Newfoundland, Canada.
          • Topic 5

            Part V Regions Not Owned by Individual States

            S17. Antarctica and the North Pole
            Read chapter 7, pages 258-260.
            Click here to print out and study the English version of the Antarctic Treaty (1959). Read through this 1991 Environmental Protocol to that Treaty and make up a list of topics covered and tell the class which one perks your interest most.

            Click here for a map displaying competing territorial claims in Antarctica.
            Click here for a map of the Arctic Sea ice density.
            Click here for a map displaying the disputed territorial claims in the Arctic Ocean and North Pole.

            Read the WTO rulings in this US Shrimp Case (1998) and let us discuss how Article XX of the WTO is connected to the topic of regions not owned by states. You can print out the text of the Apellate Decision by going to the WTO website or home page in the above WTO class session. Don't go to the Dispute Settlement lists, but find the Appellate Board instead, type in shrimp and then scroll down to 1998 and you will find # WT/DS58/AB/R.

            S18. The Deep Sea and Outer Space
            Chapter 10, sections 5, 6 and 7 and Chapter 7, section C
            Click here for a diagram of the deep sea between continents.
            Read this Part XI of the Law of the Sea which has to do with the Deep Sea Waters.
            Click here for the text of the UN Outer Space Treaty.

            Read the MV Saiga 1 Case (St. Vincent and the Grenadines v Guinea)
            Scroll down and read and print the Judgment of 4 December 1997.
            Click here for a map of Guinea and its coastline.
            Click here for a map showing the location of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
            Click here for the Saiga 2 Case on which a student will report. Please read and bring a hard copy of the judgment of July 1st to class.
            Note: Saiga 1 and Saiga 2 are basically one and the same case. If this link does not work try the World Courts.com here

            • Topic 6

              Part VI How to Change the Westphalia Map

              S19. By Splitting up and Merging
              Read sections 1, 2, 3, and 4, of Chapter 7 and use the Canadian Supreme Court on the
              Quebec petition to exhibit the principles involved.

              Canadian Supreme Court on the Quebec petition to leave

              Click here for the judgment of the Reference Re Secession of Quebec case.
              Click here for a map of the Canadian Provinces and Territories.
              Click here for the text of the Canadian Constitution Act (1982)
              Come to class being able to understand how this act plays a role in the Supreme Court's advisory judgment.
              Canada is a federalist country, many other states around the world use a similar Federal structure in the national government, click here for a map of states using this structure.

              In 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from the Republic of Serbia, in response, Serbia has asked with the support of the UN for an ICJ advisory opinion on the legality of the secession and subsequent international recognition of the new state. Click here for the ICJ advisory opinion.
              Click here for a map of the Balkan Region highlighting Kosovo.

              Read The German Unification Treaty in our textbook pages 241-242

              Click here for a map of the two Germanies.


              S20. No Longer By Force
              Read chapter 14
              Click here for the ICJ judgments in the Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America) Case on which a student will report.
              Click here for a map of Nicaragua and the harbor involved.


              S21. But By The Creation of Treaties
              Read Chapter 2 sections 2 and 3, and chapter 3 of the textbook (pg. 56-87). Make sure you know what the sources of international law are that are stated in ICJ Article 38 on page 24.
              Fisheries Jurisdiction Case ( UK v. Iceland) (p. 99)
              Barcelona Traction Case (Belgium v. Spain) (p. 93)

              Here is a copy of the Barcelona Traction Case

              S22. Interpreting Treaties

              Read Chapter 3 in the Textbook (pg. 88-103)

              Click here for a copy of the Danube Dam Case

              Danube Dam Case (Hungary v. Slovakia) (p.101) Click here for three maps of the case, focusing on the third one.

              S23. And By Custom
              Read chapter 2, section 4 of the textbook and read this text of the Paquete Habana Case of 1900.

            • Topic 7

              VII The Macro Environmental Challenge

              I call this a macro challenge because when you look at this map you will immediately see that the problem of global warming (global as it is) is so big that it obviously transcends all the states' boundaries on planet earth both horizontally by crossing over and vertically by reaching very high into the atmosphere far beyond the air space that countries can claim above their land and sea masses. To meet this challenge obviously requires much cooperation between states and hence a yielding of part of their sovereignty. Click here to read the full text of the Kyoto Protocol that is now being renegotiated in Copenhagen.

              S24. International Environmental Law
              Read Chapter 12 on International Environmental Law and study this map of the carbon footprints made by states on the world map.
              Read the full text of the Kyoto Treaty.
              Read the two cases below on a dispute between France and New Zealand

            • Topic 8

              VIII The Micro Human Rights Challenge

              I call this the micro challenge because on the world map and certainly in the universe individual human beings are only micro specs. Yet these tiny specs have turned out to be key subjects in international law that more and more frequently are challenging the Westphalia system under which nations-states have been operating. Since the Holocaust and World War Two we have seen growth of human rights treaties that protect these (micro) people from the power and jurisdiction of their own states, which is a totally new development in international law and obviously eats away at the sovereignty of states on which the international system is based.

              S25. International Human Rights Law

              Read only pages 188-212 and do the Handyside v. United Kingdom Case (p.207) and read the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights.

              For other European Court of Human Rights Cases use this link to search their database.

              S26. International Tribunals: Regional and the ICC

              Read and take note of the legal texts in Chapter 8, sections 3 and 4 and Chapter 15, sections 4, 5 and 6. One of the following cases will be assigned.
              Read this case concerning the Srebrenica Genocide from the International Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia.

              Click here for a map of the events leading to the Srebrenica Massacre.
              Click here for a map outlining the formation and dissolution of Yugoslavia.


              Read these Statutes of the International Criminal Court and read these explanations of the court's current activities. Click here for a map of the states who have ratified the Rome Statute and joined the ICC (Note the USA's absence - please identify the sections or articles of the Rome Statute you think are responsible for America's failure to ratify it). Read this case of DR Congo v Belgium regarding universal jurisdiction.


              S27. Three-hour Comprehensive Final Examination set by the registrar

              The requirements for this course are: 1) regular attendance, which I keep an eye on with my cards on which I note your presence or absence. In my book someone who takes more than 4 unexcused absences in a term is not a regular. Falling below this standard may affect your grade by a notch or two on the grade scale used at Drew. 2) There are two exams, a midterm which counts for 30% of the grade and a final, comprehensive exam which counts for 40% of the grade, one hour of which will be devoted to see if you studied the Nutcases book. 3) In addition, you need to pick one of the cases on the syllabus for you to report on to the class on the day it is listed in the syllabus. Bring to class a two-page handout to give the instructor and your fellow students. This hand should include the main points of the cases and some of the key passages that underlie the decision. If you find a better map or a needed one where the syllabus does not have one, that will give you brownie points with the instructor. At the end of the course you need to expand your two-page handout into a full length 15 page (11 font, 1½ spacing with normal margins) paper in which you explore both complaining and defendant states' arguments in this case. You must base your analyzes on the original judgment(s) of the case. Your final 15-pager (together with your class presentation and handout) counts for 30% of your grade. This paper must be handed in no later than the first day of reading period and be put in my mailbox in Smith House or given to me in class. If (ask me) I do not myself have a copy of the original judgment involved then you need to supply me with a copy attached to your paper. You must in your paper report on and react to any interesting dissenting opinions in the case, if those exist, which they almost always do.


            • Topic 9

              Statecraft and Religion Court Cases
              • Topic 10

                • Topic 11

                  • Topic 12

                    • Topic 13

                      • Topic 14

                        • Topic 15