international law raising issues of international legal theory

Write an essay dealing with a contemporary issue of international law raising issues of international legal theory. (Specific Topic in instructions “ relating to legal status of sovereign states submerged underwater).

Judge Can?ado Trindade issued a separate opinion in the International Court of Justice (ICJ)?s advisory opinion on Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in respect of Kosovo in 2010. In his separate opinion, Judge Trindade observed as follows:

The preconditions for statehood in international law remain those of an objective international law, irrespective of the ?will? of individual States. As to the classic prerequisites of statehood, gradually greater emphasis has shifted from the element of territory to that of the normative system. In more recent times, it has turned to that of the population ? pursuant to what I would term as the people-centered outlook in contemporary international law ? reflecting the current process of its humanization, as I have been sustaining for many years. In fact, the law of nations has never lost sight of this constitutive element ? the most precious one ? of statehood: the ?population? or the ?people?, irrespective of the difficulties of international legal thinking to arrive at a universally accepted definition of what a ?people? means.

Your task is as follows:

a) Explain what Judge Trindade meant by the ?normative system? in relation to ?the prerequisites of statehood?; and

b) Assess whether ?the people-centered outlook in contemporary international law? means that nations whose entire territory has been submerged under the rising sea level would still maintain their legal status as sovereign states.


In researching and writing your essay, you should:

? Clearly structure your argument with headings and sub-headings;

? Where relevant summarise the relevant facts, then summarise the relevant legal principles with reference to authority, then apply the law to the facts;

? Provide your own analysis with legal reasoning and support of relevant primary and/or secondary authority ? where there is room for more than one answer, include all, but note which, in your opinion, is the better view and explain why;

? Provide footnote references with a pin-point page and/or paragraph number(s). Give complete URLs and date of access for any internet material referenced.


Refer to Stuhmke Legal Referencing (4th ed, 2011) for general style and referencing guidelines. Footnote style should be in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3rd ed, 2010).


1. Analysis “ Your ability to fully analyse and evaluate the problems presented in a critical and original manner will be assessed. Your knowledge of applicable legal rules and your ability to apply those rules form an important part of this assessment.

2. Research “ You are expected to conduct independent research (ie beyond the references in option A) or option B), the course casebook and any materials provided by the lecturer) which should be evident in the text and references of your assignment. Appropriate use of relevant primary and secondary authority is important. A bibliography, which will not count towards the word limit, must be included.

3. Structure- The essay must follow a logical structure. It should have an introduction in which the approach to the topic is set out and in which key parts of the essay are flagged for the reader. Each sentence, paragraph and section of the essay must lead logically to the next. Use of subheadings is advisable.

4. Literacy- The essay should demonstrate the writing and literacy skills evident in contributions to a quality refereed law journal. To learn what the standard is, students should be reading articles in such law journals as part of their research. Typographical errors, spelling mistakes and the like may lead to a lower mark.