LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.

Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor:
Professor Philippe Sands
Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: 20 x two-hour seminars
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisites: None
Barred module combinations: None
Core module for specialism: Human Rights Law, International Law, Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Practice Assessment: To be confirmed
Assessment method for LLM students: 3-hour unseen written examination
Module Overview

Module summary

This module deals with

  • the requirements of general obligation under international law to settle disputes peacefully
  • the historical evolution and contemporary understandings of the mechanisms available for dispute resolution enumerated in United Nations Charter Article 33: negotiation, inquiry; mediation; conciliation; arbitration; judicial settlement
  • legal and policy issues associated with the composition, functioning and powers of the permanent and ad hoc international courts and tribunals
  • the respective advantages and disadvantages of these various mechanisms, the factors that influence their effectiveness
  • the role and interests of the various disputants and interested third parties in proceedings before these mechanisms
  • the place which these mechanisms have in the international legal order and their relationships to national bodies
Module syllabus: to be confirmed

Recommended materials

While there is no one textbook that covers all the material addressed in the module, there are three basic books now available that are recommended:
R. Mackenzie, C. Romano, Y. Shany and P. Sands, Manual of International Courts and Tribunals (2nd edition, OUP, 2010)
J. Merrills, International Dispute Settlement (Cambridge University Press, 4th ed. 2005)
J. Collier & V. Lowe, The Settlement of Disputes in International Law (Oxford University Press, 1999)

Preliminary reading: to be confirmed
Other information: N/A
Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.


The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now open.

Please refer to the How to apply section for information on the application process.