GFIR 311 "INTERNATIONAL LAW" - PAPER
I. GENERAL GUIDELINES
- Without exception, your research paper is due in class on
Monday, November 11, 1996. After 1 PM that day, and for every
day thereafter that the assignment is late, 2.5 points will be
deducted from the paper's 100 possible points. The paper
constitutes 20 percent of your final grade.
- Computer, printer, or floppy disk failures are not acceptable
excuses for a late assignment. It is your responsibility to make
back-up copies of your computer files, to maintain multiple
diskettes, and to print out drafts of your assignment early and
- Your paper is to be 10 typed pages of text (approximately 2500
words) in length. In addition to your paper's 10 substantive
pages, it should also feature an endnotes section and a
bibliography. You should adhere to a consistent citation format
such as Turabian. For Internet citation help, follow the link on
the course's web
II. THE EVALUATION OF YOUR PAPER
Your paper assignment will be evaluated on the basis of the
- THE PAPER'S INTRODUCTION
Does an introduction exist? Is it clear? Does the introduction
feature an explicit statement of your thesis? Does it include a
"discussion progression," that is, an explicit statement of your
paper's basic structure/organization scheme?
Is your paper logically structured? Does it feature subheadings
to make explicit its structure? Do its paragraphs begin with
How compelling an argument does your paper advance? Is the
argument clear? Subtle? How well is evidence used to support
it? Does it cite relevant scholarly literature?
- USE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Is your paper's tone appropriate? Is your paper grammatically
and syntactically sound?
- TECHNICAL FORMAT/APPEARANCE
How does your paper "look?" Does it satisfy the general requirements stipulated by the
instructor regarding page length, endnotes and bibliographic sections, and consistent citation
format? Does it reflect adequate proofreading?
III. YOUR PAPER'S SUBSTANCE
A. Your paper's GENERAL THEME will be the interrelationship
between politics and international legal rules or institutions.
Your paper will focus on one post-1945 case.
B. Among the more SPECIFIC QUESTIONS it might address:
- COMPLIANCE with an international legal rule or institutional
injunction - What role did international legal considerations
play in a state government's decision to comply with a given law
or UN Security Council directive? In a decision not to comply
with a law or directive?
- International legal rule (or institution) CREATION - How did
political considerations influence a state government's
negotiation of a given international legal rule? Its decision to
accept an international legal rule? Its decision to become party
to a given treaty or international institution?
- International legal rule EVOLUTION - What political factors
influenced the evolution of a given rule of international law?
- DOMESTIC POLITICAL EFFECTS of an international legal rule or
institution - What domestic political effects, perhaps
unforeseen, did an international legal rule or international
institutional decision (e.g., a judicial holding) exert?
C. Among the possible CASES your paper might address:
- TREATIES AND TREATYMAKING: Helsinki Accords, UNCLOS III and the UN
Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Panama Canal Treaties, the ABM Treaty Reinterpretation,
the Genocide Convention, refugee treaties, UN Declararation on Human Rights, the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, the NPT, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Dayton Accords
- THE UNITED NATIONS: the Korean War, Kampuchea/Cambodia (the Vietnamese
intervention, the UN's subsequent role), the Congo, Cyprus, the "China seat" at the UN, Somalia,
the Bosnia War Crimes Tribunal, the Libyan sanctions
- PROMINENT ICJ CASES: Western Sahara (the ICJ case, and subsequent state practice),
Nicaragua v. U.S. (US participation, modification of its acceptance of compulsory jurisdiction,
withdrawal of its acceptance of compulsory jurisdiction), the Iran Hostage Case, the Lawfulness
of nuclear weapons case, the Genocide case
- USES OF FORCE AND INTERSTATE CONFLICTS: Afghanistan (the Soviet action and
thereafter), Ecuador-Peru - 1981, Czechoslovakia - 1968, Suez - 1956, the Codfish War, the
Falklands War, the Iran-Iraq War, East Timor - 1975, the Achille Lauro affair, Panama -
1989-90, the Persian Gulf War, the US cruise missile attacks on Iraq, the Yom Kippur War,
former Yugoslavia, Somalia
- INTERNATIONAL LAW AND UNITED STATES LAW: the Sale (Haitian refugees) case,
the PLO Observer Mission to the UN - 1987 and 1988, the Arafat Visa denial - 1988, the
controversy over the US extradition process, the US financial contribution to UN, the
Updated September 13, 1996