NDPIL1017 | Normative Dilemmas in Public International Law: Problems and Perspectives

Course Information

  • 2019-20
  • NDPIL1017
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M.
  • V
  • Mar 2020
  • Seminar Course

This Course seeks to undertake a more advanced and nuanced inquiry into public international law and in particular, its normative aspects. It is focused on understanding in greater detail, the theory and practice of international law, underlying systemic questions and examining seemingly deviating institutional behaviour. It is envisaged to build upon the basic concepts discussed during the International Law module in the B.A., LL.B. programme.
The course shall begin with considering normative problems at the most fundamental level – those that arise in relation to the sources of international law and conceptualising international law itself (such as problems of false consciousness and the ‘Baxter Paradox’). It shall then go on to consider, in detail, the phenomenon of fragmentation in international law and related questions such as the so-called ‘constitutionalisation’ of international law, the hierarchy of norms and the development of self-contained regimes. Subsequently, it shall look at norm-conflict and the principles used to resolve norm-conflict such as those of lex specialis, lex posterior and conflict clauses in treaty frameworks.
The reading material shall comprise a mix of book chapters, journal articles, case law and International Law Commission reports. It shall include both primary and secondary sources as well as judicial decisions of various international judicial bodies.
Method: The course shall be delivered primarily through a combination of lectures and seminar style discussion.
Describe the layout of the course: module structure and sequence
The course shall comprise three primary modules – first, Normative Dilemmas in the Conceptualising International Law; second, The Fragmentation of International Law and third, Norm-Conflict and its Resolution.  The topics to be covered in these modules are listed below.


Chinmayi Sharma

Visiting Faculty | Term II