International Law (graduate)

Course Details

Course Number: POLS 5333  Section Number: 180

Fall 2010

Location: Prothro-Yeager Hall

Classroom Number: 209

Days & Times:

5:30-8:20 pm Tuesday

Office Hours: By appointment, please call 940-397-4746

Course Attachments

Schedule of Assignments  POLS 4333- Fall 2010.docx


International Law, fifth edition
Carter, Trimble, and Weiner
International Law: Selected Documents, 09-10 ed.
MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Samuel Edgar Watson III   
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Course Objectives

POLS 5333 is a graduate lecture course on the history, theories, sources, and enforcement of international law. Topics to be covered include treaties and customary international law; the significance of states and institutions; international dispute resolution; international law and the United States; immunity and the act of state doctrine; the allocation of legal authority among states; international human rights; the use of force and arms control; the law of the sea; the law of airspace, aviation, and outer space; and, international environmental law.

The primary goal of this course is for each student to become better informed about, more interested in, and more aware of the role law plays in international relations. The course seeks to demonstrate to students the important relationship between international law and politics within the existing world system.

Course Expectations

The two midterm and the final examinations consist of a series of short answer, essay questions. The second exam tests only the material covered since the first exam. The final exam tests only the material covered since the second exam.

The term paper assignment requires students, in consultation with the instructor, to select a relevant topic for research.

In order to pass this class, a student must participate. Participation means coming to and preparing for class. Particular diligence needs to be paid to preparation of case briefs. 

Final Exam12/7/2010  8 pm

Submission Format Policy

The term paper must be properly referenced (APA or MLA style), twenty-five to thirty pages in length, typed, and double spaced. The instructor requests each student to prepare a brief prospectus and meet with him in an individual conference before finalizing a paper topic. All conferences must be held by September 21, 2010. The specific due date for the paper is November 30, 2010. 

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Make-up exams will only be given, and late papers accepted, once an appropriate, written excuse has been presented to the instructor. 

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance will be checked by signature sheet.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.