This two-week course is aimed at 19 to 25 years-old students who are keen to learn the fundamentals of International Law in the 21st century. Prior legal training is not required, as all the necessary concepts will be covered in this intensive course. To that end, students will be taught public and private law from both a domestic and an international perspective, aiming to provide them with solid foundations in the international law discipline.
The course will focus on recent developments in the field of international law, and guide students through the central debates within the discipline. It begins with the philosophy of law, seeking to help students understand the origin of laws, and grasp a legal thinking. It then covers the main theories of international law, drawing from realism to liberal institutionalism and constructivism.
A comparative law perspective applied in this course enables students with a better understanding of legal systems all over the globe. The course covers Human Rights and explores the role played by the international institutions in an interconnected world. It also studies international dispute settlement, highlighting some of the most famous cases of disputes between countries, or between states and non-state actors. By discussing international commercial arbitration, we explore in this course the ways in which international agreements and arbitration awards are enforced globally through hard law and soft law.
This is a student-centred course, in which a very practical approach is taken, and participants are intellectually challenged from day one. Every one-hour lecture is followed by a related two-hour seminar, during which students participate actively in debates, ask questions and apply knowledge acquired during the course. In these interactive seminars, a wide variety of legal cases is discussed, on which students are expected to think independently and offer creative solutions.
During the two weeks, students will exposed to plenty of opportunities to apply the acquired knowledge to the UN model debates, moot trials and a study visit organised in the court of international arbitration in London. Their progress will be assessed through a written examination, and a group project presentation, on which supervised guidance will be provided throughout the course.
If you are as passionate about law justice, this is a course for you. It is everything but boring.
The table below gives an indication of the subject areas that will be covered in each day’s lecture and seminar. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, please note that topics and timings may be subject to change. Regarding topics, our teachers retain the flexibility to adapt to the academic interests of the students in the class, in order for the members of the class to benefit from their broad spectrum of knowledge and experience in the field.
|Week||Day||Lesson Number||Topic Covered|
|Week One||Sunday||Arrival Day – No Classes|
|Monday||Justice – The Morality of Law|
|Case: Would you Ever Kill an Innocent Person?|
|Tuesday||Theory of International Law|
|What Kind of World Do We (Want To) Live In?|
|Plan Group Projects|
|Wednesday||Criminal Law: When a Guilty Mind Meets a Guilty Act|
|Case: Let the Blind Man Die?|
|International Criminal Law|
|Does Slaughtering Three Million Drug Addicts Constitute Genocide?|
|Thursday||International Law Symposium: Three Guest Speakers and Open Debate|
|Friday||Comparative Constitutional Law|
|Yes! That’s How We Settle Disputes in My Country!|
|Work on Individual Projects|
|Week Two||Sunday||No Classes|
|Monday||Contract Law, Offers VS Invitation to Treat|
|Case: Oxford Says “Yes” to Everyone|
|Law of Tort. Private VS Public Nuisance|
|Case: Living on a Ship of Fools|
|Tuesday||International Commercial Arbitration|
|Global Enforcement; Hard Law VS Soft Law|
|Finalising Group Projects|
|Wednesday||Trip to London: Alternative Dispute Resolution at London Court of International Arbitration|
|Thursday||Human Rights Law|
|Case: When Strasbourg Reigns Over prisoners in the UK|
|International Dispute Settlement and International Institutions|
|Activity: Who Deals With That?|
|Friday||Model United Nations Debate: Counter-Terrorism|
|Presenting Group Projects|
|Graduation Ceremony and Farewell Event|
Why take this course?
This course is aimed at gap year students and current undergraduates who wish to expand their understanding of Law with like-minded peers from all over the world. It’s particularly suitable for students interested in topics adjacent to Law; for instance, for students of Politics, International Relations or History, or those who are interested in working in law enforcement, local government or the Civil Service. You might also be a current undergraduate who is considering a Law conversion course upon graduation, in which case this introduction to Law at a higher level than you might previously have encountered it is sure to be invaluable. However, you might also choose to take this course if you studied Law at school and would like to refresh your memory and build on that knowledge, or even if you are studying a completely unrelated subject and simply find the world of Law fascinating – as so many people do.
This course will offer you a thorough grounding in the principles of Law across key topics, and how the systems of Law that we have are justified from a philosophical standpoint. Additionally, it offers valuable training in debating and discussing complex and often controversial topics in a respectful way; a skill that is valuable not only at university but also in the workplace. Law requires clear and precise communication, and a key aim of this course is to train all students in communicating in this way.
Law touches all of our lives, whether that’s family law affecting our private lives or contract law guiding the way that we do business, so getting to grips with the Law is valuable no matter who you are or what you plan to do for a living.
Every summer, ORA welcomes hundreds of the world’s brightest, most academically gifted students to our Oxford courses. Our campuses always feature a diverse mix of nationalities and genders. Students will have extensive opportunities to make connections and friends who will last into later professional life.
Timetable for students aged 19 to 25
Our Academic Faculty
Our International Law in the 21st Century programme has been developed by Endrit Shabani MSc, who is currently working towards her Doctorate in Politics at the University of Oxford. Endrit’s specialisms include European and Administrative Law, within the context of Philosophy, Politics, and Education. She has dedicated the past nine years to researching and teaching the discipline.
At Oxford Royale Academy we are committed to providing our students with the most qualified and high-calibre teaching available. All Oxford Royale Academy teachers are passionate about their subject, and are looking forward to passing their knowledge on to their students this summer! For full details of last summer’s teaching faculty, please click here
Guest Lectures and Debates
At ORA, we go the extra mile to enhance the study abroad experience of our students. As part of this, every year our dedicated Events Team organises a series of fascinating guest lectures. Last year these took place in the Examination Schools of the University of Oxford, allowing ORA students to experience a lecture in the same environment as a University student. Leadership is important in any profession and workplace, and so this year students will be invited to attend an afternoon of guest speakers discussing inspirational, political, and entrepreneurial leadership at the Saïd Business School. Speakers include Dr. Tereza Capelos, Senior Lecturer in Political Psychology; Dr. Simon Adderley, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Oxford Brookes University; and Jenny Garrett – an award winning Executive Career Coach, Inspirational Leadership Trainer, TEDx Speaker, and entrepreneur! Our students also have the opportunity to watch and participate in a number of debates, which take place on campus. These range from formal Panel Debates to informal discussions about current ‘hot topics’ led by ORA staff.
The United Kingdom has a rich cultural heritage, and a course with Oxford Royale Academy is the perfect way for a student to explore this. All ORA courses include cultural excursions to places of historical and social significance in the UK. On the Law programme, attendees will be taken to two such destinations. Last summer’s excursions included visits to Blenheim Palace and London.
The majority of your time in Oxford will be spent absorbed in your Law studies, but you’ll have some free time in your schedule so that you can make the most of your time in this historic city. You can enjoy a tranquil punt down the River Thames, or explore some of Oxford’s wonderful free museums. You can look forward to joining your classmates for a day trip to an exciting place further afield, such as Stratford-upon-Avon or Blenheim Palace, and spending your evenings trying fun new things like salsa dancing. At the end of your Law course, you’ll take part in a formal graduation ceremony and dinner to celebrate your achievements.
Some past afternoon activities enjoyed by our students include the following:
- Punting: travel the waterways of the River Cherwell in a flat-bottomed boat, using a five-metre-long pole to propel your vessel! This mode of transport is unique to Oxford and Cambridge.
- Summer sports: have you ever played the traditional English game of croquet? There will be the chance to do so on the lawns of your campus! Real tennis (a variation of tennis played indoors, with a heavier ball) has also been enjoyed by our previous students.
- College and museum tours: An ORA course is the perfect opportunity to visit some of the University of Oxford’s most famous Colleges (including New College, Magdalen College and Christ Church). You will also have the chance to visit Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum – famous for being the world’s first university museum.
- Dance and music workshops: have you ever wanted to try Indian dance? How about Salsa dancing? Or drumming? Experts in these art forms will be dropping in to our campuses to run workshops, allowing our students to unleash their creative sides.
The events and entertainment on offer don’t stop when the sun starts to go down at our campuses! The following will be available to every student on this programme:
- Outdoor theatre: many Oxford Colleges put on Shakespeare plays in their quads and gardens throughout the summer months.
- Karaoke in Oxford: head to a venue in Oxford and sing along to the latest hits.
- Themed parties at local hotels and country houses: head to a local venue and enjoy dinner and dancing with your friends from around the world; past venues include Ardington House in Oxfordshire and The Randolph Hotel in the city of Oxford. Every party has a theme: Hollywood, Venetian Masquerade and The Olympics are examples of past themes.
- Graduation: a formal graduation ceremony will be held on the last night of your course. This is followed by your Graduation dinner and party — a glamorous conclusion to your stay in Oxford!
The Law course for ages 19-25 is residential in colleges of the University of Oxford, enabling students to immerse themselves in the environment and atmosphere of one of the best universities in the world, and our summer courses for ages 19-25 are designed with the academic nature of their setting in mind. In addition to their studies, participants will have plenty of free time to enjoy independent exploration of the inspirational city of Oxford, and to conduct their own research in Oxford’s libraries.
Our summer courses offer our students the complete study abroad experience. The grid below describes everything that is included with an ORA adult course:
- Over 15 taught hours per week
- Study files and materials
- Guest lectures from academic speakers
- Personalised academic reports
- Course certificate after graduation
- Wide selection of afternoon and evening activities
- 2 cultural excursions per course
- Welcome and graduation events (+1s invited)
- Discounts at shops around Oxford
- Accommodation in the University of Oxford
- Breakfast and Dinner in the Hall
- Free WiFi (subject to availability)
- Daily updates on the ORA blog
- Private Medical / Travel insurance
- ORA T-shirt
- ID badge and lanyard
- Welcome and arrival packs
- Year group photo
- Course memento photos
- ORA notebook
The safety and security of our students is ORA’s top priority. All of the centres at which our courses run are safe, secure environments, which are perfect for our students. Each centre is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a team of Porters. In addition, Oxford Royale Academy’s comprehensively trained team of campus staff are always on hand. If you join us this summer, you will see the following members of staff on your campus:
Some classes on the Law course will take place in College; others are held at nearby venues in the city.
Most students who come to ORA will have to book a flight to the UK. ORA courses do not include flights. Information on the best time to arrive will be on your course confirmation email and in your Welcome Pack.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
ORA offers coach transfers between all of our Oxford campuses and London Heathrow airport, for a small extra charge. For more information, please click here.
Welcome Reception and Graduation
Family are welcome to attend these events at the start and end of their student’s course. For more information, please contact our Registrations Department on email@example.com.
Medical and Dietary Information
All students who enrol are required to complete our Medical and Dietary Information form. A link will be emailed to all students once their enrolment is confirmed.
Eligibility and Pre-requisites
Students on the Law programme:
- Must conform to our Age Policy.
- Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be able to assist you.
- Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.
Dates, Fees and Locations
|Course Length||Course Dates||Course Fees||Location|
|2 weeks||1 Jul – 14 Jul||4,295 GBP||Oxford University accommodation|
How to Apply
If you prefer, you can complete our paper application form, which is available for download by clicking here. You can then return this to our offices by one of the following methods:
- Scan and e-mail to email@example.com
- Fax to +44 (0) 845 130 01 22
- Post to the address below
For enrolments via the paper application form, we are able to accept the GBP 795.00 course deposit by credit or debit card, bank transfer or cheque. Please see the form for full details.