The Law and Practice of the United Nations – Model United Nations

Summary

• What is the purpose of the United Nation and how does it really work?
• Does the United Nations matter in international affairs?
• Is the critique of United Nations fair? And if so how can it be fixed?
• Are you interested in learning how to negotiate and acting as an international diplomat?
If you think that any of those questions are important and interesting, then this course is something for you.

Summary

This course is for anyone interested in the United Nations (UN) and how it deals with current issues of concern for the international community such as for instance disarmament and security, sustainable development, human rights and equality. The course will give you an insight into the role and workings of the UN in international politics and the interaction and dialogue between governments in trying to solve the issues on the global agenda.
The aim of the course is to give students in depth knowledge about the system of the United Nations and how its different bodies function, for example such bodies as UNCHR, UNICEF, UNDP and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The main focus of the course is on a model United Nations role play, that will through its simulation give the students practical skills in negotiations and diplomacy.
During the course we will further study and discuss the historical origin, development and challenges of the United Nations. We will also analyse different cases concerning, for example conflicts, interventions and sovereignty from the International Court of Justice. In addition, we will get a deeper understanding of the workings of the UN by the thematic study of the different bodies of the organisation for example, how does the UNDP work with achieving the UN Sustainability Goals in the region of Africa.
The course has a hands-on approach to the work of the UN by making use of real material produced by the UN, such as resolutions, reports, investigations and judicial decisions.
The main emphasis of the course will be on a Model UN role-play. In the simulation students will act as state representatives during a General Assembly session dealing with one of the seventeen sustainability goals. The students will attend meetings at the General Assembly representing their states, conduct negotiations and diplomacy as well as working with amending resolutions mirroring the real work of the General Assembly delegates.
The course consist of the following modules:
The Law and Practice of the UN (15hp)
In this module we will study the in and outs of the UN to gain as much knowledge about the world organisation as possible so that all are well prepared for the simulation of the Model UN.
Model UN (15hp)
The whole module is built around a Model UN role-play that takes place during a session of the General Assembly. Between the General Assembly meetings the state delegates will work on their state position on the issue at hand, work on amending resolutions, and negotiate and form alliances with other states represented in the role-play.
For further information on content, course literature and examination see the syllabus.

Admission requirements

General entry requirements + Civics A, English B. Or: Civics 1b / 1a1 +1a2.


For Swedish Upper Secondary Grades merit rating will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 6/A6

Selection:

final grades 66% national university aptitude test 34%

Syllabus

Syllabus for students spring 2018

Course Code:
GP120L revision 1.1
Level of specialisation
G1N
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Language:
English
Date of ratification:
31 October 2017
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
01 September 2017
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
01 September 2017

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + Civics A, English B. Or: Civics 1b / 1a1 +1a2.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course can normally be included as a part of a general degree at undergraduate level.

Purpose

The aim of the course is for the students to acquire knowledge and understanding of the United Nations and its mechanism and functions on the international arena. The course stresses the interaction between international law and politics by examining the relevance, capacity, practice, and accountability of the United Nations.
Students will obtain a theoretical understanding of the United Nations and its role in global politics that will be practically applied with the preparation and participation in a Model United Nations. The course combines both substantive knowledge of the UN system and practical simulated debates of major issues on the international political agenda.

Contents

Contents
The course consists of 2 modules:

Module 1: The UN System (15 hp)
The first module gives an overview of the UN System and its purpose, functions and regulating principles on the international arena. The module introduces the students to the organisation’s wide range of law making mechanisms, structures and institutions. Furthermore, the module identifies the legal and political interactions and processes of the Untied Nations.
The module is divided and consist of three parts:
A. The UN System 1: The United Nations (5 hp)
The first part focuses on the United Nations’s role as the main entity of international law making and international governance and identify its processes, instruments and actors employed in international politics from a historical and contemporary context.
B. The UN System 2: International Court Systems (5 hp)
The second part has as its starting point the judicial law making system of the UN with a focus on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and regional judicial bodies and their role as settlers of international legal disputes. The main emphasis of this part of the module is on the ICJ and its general jurisdiction of judicial settlements between states and its role as the primary body for interpretation of international law.
C. The UN System 3: Bodies of the United Nations (5 hp)
The third part gives an in depth introduction to the main bodies of the United Nations and their different capacities and functions in international politics and their relationship to the codification and implementation of international law.

Module 2: Model United Nations (15 hp)
The second module is a preparation and participation in a Model United Nations (role play simulations). The purpose of the model is to convert the theoretical and substantive knowledge gained in module 1 into practical skills and capabilities by replicating the conditions of the UN through simulations. The students will assume the role of states’ government representatives to the UN and its different bodies such as for example; the General Assembly and its committees, the Security Council, subsidiaries organs and specialists agencies. The content of the course is determined by current issues of international concern on the UN agenda.

Learning outcomes

The course consists of 2 modules with the following learning outcomes:

1. The UN System (15 hp)
After completing the module the student will

1. have knowledge of the origin and purpose of the United Nations and its bodies
2. have knowledge of the United Nations as an international law making body
3. have knowledge of the jurisdiction and functions of the International Court of Justice
4. have knowledge of the workings and procedures of the bodies of the United Nations
5. have the ability to analyse and assess cases of international law from ICJ and other judicial bodies
6. have the ability to evaluate the relationship between the United Nations as a law making body and its functions and capacities in international politics.

2. Model United Nations (15 hp)
After completing the module the student will

1. have an ability to in a group investigate and analyse the issues of the UN Model simulation
2. have an ability to in a group apply the United Nations rule of procedures, legal standards and code of conduct
3. demonstrate an ability to act as a state representative and to argue the state’s position and views in the UN simulations
4. demonstrate an ability to assess and suggest solutions to the issues on the UN Model agenda from the state’s perspective
5. have an ability to in a group present this analysis in orally and in written form in logical and coherent manner
6. be able to use basic academic formalities and academic language

Learning activities

The course is designed for full-time study. The teaching of the course is mainly in the form of lectures, workshops and seminars. Teaching in module 1 consists of lectures and seminars and in module 2 of workshops.
The majority of the student’s workload consists of independent study. Students are responsible for reading and preparing in conjunction with the teaching and for coming well prepared to each session. Students are expected to take their own initiatives to form study groups.

Assessments

1. The UN System (15 hp)
The students’ performance in the module is assessed by means of written assignments. Learning outcomes 1 and 2 are assessed by the means of a take home written assignment (5hp). Learning outcomes 3 and 5 are assessed by the means of a cases analysis (5hp). Learning outcomes 4 and 6 are assed by a take home written assignment (5hp).


2. Model United Nations (15hp)
The students’ performance in the module is assessed by participation in a simulation and by a written issue brief. Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are assessed by an oral presentation in a Model UN simulation (7.5hp). Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are assessed by the submission of a written issue brief (7.5hp).
In order to achieve a passing grade on the course in its entirety, the grade of Pass is required for each examination.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

  1. The UN System (15 hp)
Betts, Alexander & Orchard, Philip, 2013, Implementation of World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice, OUP Oxford
Boyle, Alan & Chinkin, Christine, 2007, The Making of International Law, Oxford University Press, latest edition

Chesterman, Simon, Franck, Thomas M., & Malone, David M., 2016, Law and Practice of the United Nations, Oxford Univeristy Press

Klabbers, Jan, 2013, International Law, Cambridge University Press, latest edition
Peterson, M.J., 2006, The UN General Assembly, Routledge

Plesch, Dan & Weiss, Thomas D., 2015, Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations; Past as Prelude?

United Nations: Department of Public Information, 2013, Basic Facts About the United Nations, 2013, United Nations
Weiss, Thomas D., 2008, The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations, Oxford University Press

Weiss, Thomas D., Forsythe, David P., Coate, Roger A., Pease, Kelly-Kate S., 2013, United Nations and Changing World Politics, 2013, Westview Press Inc.
200 pages of legal sources can be added

  1. Model United Nations (15 hp)

United Nations Associations, A Global Agenda: Issues before the General Assembly of the United Nations (annual publication).

United Nations Association, Model UN Survival Kit (available online).

Betts, Alexander & Orchard, Philip, 2013, Implementation of World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice, OUP Oxford

Boyle, Alan & Chinkin, Christine, 2007, The Making of International Law, Oxford University Press, latest edition

Chesterman, Simon, Franck, Thomas M., & Malone, David M., 2016, Law and Practice of the United Nations, Oxford Univeristy Press
Klabbers, Jan, 2013, International Law, Cambridge University Press, latest edition

Peterson, M.J., 2006, The UN General Assembly, Routledge

Plesch, Dan & Weiss, Thomas D., 2015, Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations; Past as Prelude?

Turunc, Kerem, 2009, The Winning Delegate: An Insider’s Guide to Model United Nations

United Nations: Department of Public Information, 2013, Basic Facts About the United Nations, 2013, United Nations
Weiss, Thomas D., 2008, The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations, Oxford University Press

Weiss, Thomas D., Forsythe, David P., Coate, Roger A., Pease, Kelly-Kate S., 2013, United Nations and Changing World Politics, 2013, Westview Press Inc.

500 pages can be added.

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students will be offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.

Other Information

The Language of Instruction is English

Contact

The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

Application

15 January 2018 - 03 June 2018 Day-time 100% Malmö Schedule Application code: mah-81700

National application round

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 41000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 41000 SEK

Open for late application

Apply