Law of International Institutions (LAWS6977)


This unit will examine the principal legal issues concerning organizations composed of states. These include the legal status and powers of organizations, membership and participation, norm-creation, dispute settlement, enforcement of decisions, peace and security activities, and finally the organizations' privileges and immunities as well as their legal status and powers under national law.
At the same time, the unit will also address such real world problems as the creation of international criminal courts, the "succession" of Russia to the USSR's seat on the UN Security Council, the response to the break-up of Yugoslavia, targeted sanctions and the possibility of judicial review of acts of the UN Security Council, the success of WTO dispute settlement, NATO action against Serbia in 1999, the military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11, etc.
Primary consideration will be given to the development of the United Nations. Other universal as well as regional organizations will also be dealt with. This unit aims at helping students to understand the common legal problems faced by international institutions.

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Further unit of study information


Feb 13-15 & 17 (9-5)


take-home exam (20%) and 8000wd essay (80%)


Jan Klabbers, An Introduction to International Institutional Law. Cambridge (CUP, 2nd ed., 2009) Paperback (ISBN-13: 9780521736169)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Assumed knowledge

LAWS6243 International Law I or equivalent unit in public international law



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.