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A Fresh Look at Teaching International Law–A Few Pedagogical Considerations in the Age of Communications

  • TARCISIO GAZZINI

Extract

This editorial takes a practical approach. It aims to stimulate reflections on the way we teach international law today, on how new technologies could enhance the pedagogical experience, on the upgrading of the role and participation of students, and on a better connection with the ‘real world’. It focuses on ‘how’ rather than on ‘what’ or ‘for what purpose’ we teach international law. With this aim in mind, it serves a few ideas seasoned with suggestions and examples.

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References

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1 In general, see the work of the International Law Association Committee on Teaching International Law, at www.ila-hq.org/en/committees/index.cfm/cid/1009, as well as the reflections of the Interest Group, at www.ila-hq.org/en/study-groups/index.cfm/cid/1038. Scholarly studies on teaching international law are abundant, see in particular B. Cheng (ed.), International Law: Teaching and Practice (1982); M. Lachs, The Teacher in International Law: Teachings and Teaching (1987); Broms, B., ‘International Law in the Law School Curriculum’, in Macdonald, R. St.J. (ed.), Essays in Honour of Wang Tieya (1994), 79 ; Cheng, B., ‘How should we study international law?’, (1994-1995) 13 Chinese Yearbook of International Law & Affairs 214 ; Orford, A., ‘Citizenship, Sovereignty and Globalisation: Teaching International Law in the Post-Soviet Era’, (1995) 6 Legal Education Review 251 ; J. Gamble and C.C. Joyner, Teaching International Law: Approaches and Perspectives (1997); Reisman, M.W., ‘The Teaching of International Law in the Eighties’, (1996) 20 International Lawyer 987 ; Simpson, G., ‘On the Magic Mountain: Teaching Public International Law’ (1999) 10 EJIL 22 ; E. Hey, Teaching International Law: State Consent As Consent to a Process of Normative Development and Ensuing Problems (2003); Maxeiner, J.R., ‘Learning from Others: Sustaining the Internationalization and Globalization of U.S. Law School Curriculums’, (2008) 32 Fordham International Law Journal 32 ; J. Klabbers and M. Sellers (eds.), The Internationalization of Law and Legal Education (2008).

2 See, for instance, the United Nations Chart at www.un.org/depts/dhl/deplib/promo-materials/UNsystemChart-lt-clr.pdf.

3 See, for instance, the sketches included in North Sea Continental Shelf Cases (Federal Republic of Germany/Denmark; Federal Republic of Germany/Netherlands), Judgment of 20 February 1969, [1969] ICJ Rep. 3, at 15–16; or the route of the North Stream pipeline, at www.nord-stream.com/press-info/images/nord-stream-pipeline-reinforcing-gas-supplies-to-northwest-europe-3487; or the process to extract shale gas, Shale Gas Information Platform, ‘What is Shale Gas’, at www.shale-gas-information-platform.org/what-is-shale-gas.html; or the evolution of the conflict in Syria, at syria.liveuamap.com.

4 See, for instance, World Trade Organization (WTO), The Panel Process, at www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/disp2_e.htm.

5 A treaty can be retrieved from the UNTS website, at treaties.un.org/Pages/UNTSOnline.aspx?id=1, or a national website such as the United Kingdom Treaty Series, at treaties.fco.gov.uk/treaties/treaty.htm;jsessionid=BFB71291C047B750B207CA564AE7B32B; a Security Council Resolution from the organ's website, at www.un.org/en/sc/documents/resolutions/; and a judgment of the International Court of Justice from www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3.

6 See, for instance, ‘Time-lapse of Europe's changing borders since 1100 AD Westphalia’, at www.dailymail.co.uk/video/sciencetech/video-1093178/Time-lapse-Europes-changing-borders-1100AD.html (not entirely accurate but still quite useful).

7 See, for instance, the official video obtained by the German magazine Bild, WTO, Made in the World, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMkJu8S8ztE, at 1:49.

8 See, for instance, Bild, ‘At 1:49 the bombs hit the trucks’, at www.bild.de/news/bild-english/how-deadly-afghan-bombing-scandal-covered-up-in-germany-10626064.bild.html.

9 See, for instance, United Nations, Audio-visual Library of International Law, at www.un.org/law/avl/.

10 See, for instance, S. Fry, H. Laurie and Friends, The Treaty of Westphalia, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-WO73Dh7rY.

11 Interestingly, in Paeste v. Government of Guam, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District (Opinion Judge Berzon) at cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/08/26/13-15389.pdf, made a reference to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories, 8 March 2015, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE.

12 Amongst many examples, see F. Lang, M (1931); E. Kusturica, Underground (1995); W. Herzog's documentary, Lessons of Darkness (1992); S. Townsend, Battle in Seattle (2007); A. Gibney, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2006).

13 Amongst several examples, see Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, at vismoot.pace.edu; Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court, at www.investmentmoot.org; Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, at www.ilsa.org/jessuphome; and Concours Jean-Pictet, at www.concourspictet.org.

14 See, for instance, Model United Nations, at model-unitednations.org; and the Frits Kalshoven Competition, at www.rodekruis.nl/dit-zijn-we/humanitair-oorlogsrecht/ihlcompetition.

15 See, in particular, A.J. Harno, Legal Education in the United States (2004); Bloch, F.S. (ed.), The Global Clinical Movement: Educating Lawyers for Social Justice (2011).

16 For two successful examples, see the Trade and Investment Law Clinic, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, at graduateinstitute.ch/trade-law-clinic, and the Amsterdam International Law Clinic at the University of Amsterdam, at ailc.uva.nl.

17 Another and quite different example is the student-run Amsterdam Law Forum, at amsterdamlawforum.org.

18 UNCTAD International Investment Agreements Mapping Project, at investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/Upload/Documents/UNCTAD%20IIA%20MAPPING%20PROJECT%202013-2014.pdf.

19 See in particular, J. Stephenson, Teaching & Learning Online: Pedagogies for New Technologies (2001); G. Salmon, E-moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online (2004); S. Bach, P. Haynes and J. Lewis Smith, Online Learning And Teaching In Higher Education (2007); R.M. Lehman and S.C.O. Conceição, Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to ‘Be There’ for Distance Learners (2010); C. Howell Major, Teaching Online: A Guide to Theory, Research, and Practice (2016).

20 Compare, for instance, the Massive Open Online Course dedicated to International Law on the edX platform, recently launched by the University of Louvain (UCL), at www.uclouvain.be/511270.html; the International Law course offered by the New York University School of Law, Institute for International Law and Justice, at www.iilj.org/courses/InternationalLawCourse.asp, and the courses provided by UNITAR, at www.unitar.org/programme-area.

21 On the, so far, rather unfulfilled high expectations of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in developing countries, see, for instance, T. Liyanagunawardena, S. Williams and A. Adams, The impact and reach of MOOCs: a developing countries’ perspective, (2013) 33 eLearning Papers; M. Trucano, More about MOOCs and Developing Countries, 12 November 2013, at blogs.worldbank.org/edutech/moocs-developing-countries.

22 D. Koller, ‘What we're learning from online education’, TED Talks, 2012, at www.ted.com/talks/daphne_koller_what_we_re_learning_from_online_education?language=en.

* Senior researcher, University of Lausanne [].

A Fresh Look at Teaching International Law–A Few Pedagogical Considerations in the Age of Communications

  • TARCISIO GAZZINI

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