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Unit of study_

LAWS3516: International Law and China

2024 unit information

The unit covers the practice and perspectives of China on international law (including international economic law) and the impact of a rising China on the rule-based world order. It critically assesses Chinas international legal behaviour and evaluates the growing influence of China in the development of international law and institutions. Topics covered may include China's historical engagement with international law, Chiense domestic law and politics and their impact on China's foreign policy and international legal behaviour, China's territorial and maritime disputes with other nations, Chinese practice on the law of treaties, jurisdiction and immunities, human rights, the environment and the use of force, the question of Taiwan, the questions of Xinjiang and Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau and One Country Two Systems, Chinas integration in the global trade and financial systems, Belt and Road initiatives and international economic law, etc. The syllabus of the unit and its assessment are designed to develop your knowledge, skills and competence in the critical understanding of the complex relationship between the international legal order and an emerging superpower that subscribes to a distinctive set of social, historical and cultural assumptions and practices. The unit requires that you have studied the unit of Public International Law. Pre-existing knowledge of Chinese law or Chinese language is not required.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code LAWS3516
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge:

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate a broad understanding of Chinese practice and perspectives on international law, and their impact on the development of international law and institutions
  • LO2. analyse and assess both the immediate and long-term challenges posed by a rising China to the rule-based world order
  • LO3. analyse and assess the interrelationship between China’s international legal behaviour and its domestic law and politics
  • LO4. demonstrate a broad understanding of the role of international law in the social and economic reform and cultural transformation in modern China
  • LO5. carry out independent research in the area of international law and China.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2022
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.