Politics of International Law with Associate Professor Sarah Percy

Politics and law are inextricably related. This is evident in the establishment and evolution of various international laws, in the constraining effect that international laws have on states' behaviour, and in terms of codifying what is expected from governments and their citizens as duties towards the international community. International relations are increasingly being shaped by the growth of legal norms across a range of issue-areas: human rights protection, environmental concerns, weapons control, the use of force and the legitimacy of military action all come to mind as cases where the United Nations and other law-making bodies are shaping the world in which we live. There nevertheless is a tension between the establishment of global norms and the sovereign nature of independent states, where the latter may choose to contest or even disregard widely-accepted norms of behaviour. The course will cover these issues and use case related material to explore the politics of interantional law.