International Law and Organization 


Dr. Jen Mustapha, Huron College

mONDAYS 3:30-5:30PM  EDT (GMT-4)


Pols 3345E - OWL POrtal


TIP: Make sure you're logged into OWL before clicking on the links on this page



T1 & T2

(2 term average)

Each term you'll earn marks /10 for participation. 

Participation can take several forms, depending on your comfort level or access to synchronous meetings. You can ask questions, engage in discussions in break out rooms, suggest readings/ podcasts/ playlists for your colleagues on the course Padlet (PW is HURON3345E), use the forums tool on OWL, tweet about the class etc. The main thing is to STAY ENGAGED and show that you're thinking about our course topics. 

I will also be asking you to fill out a self-assessment form, which is available on OWL.

-Briefing Note-



This is a document written by public servants, policy makers, political staff, and subject experts to give background information on a specific issue or topic to Someone Important- for example a Foreign Minister, a State Leader, a Chief Negotiator, an Ambassador, or a Secretary General.


For this assignment you are a policy advisor asked to write an Information Briefing Note for Canada’s Permanent Representative to the UN, on a current issue of your choice.


A guide on how to write one can be found here and here.   


Part of this assignment is figuring out how long a note should be and what it should look like. This assignment needs is due to be uploaded to your OWL Course Dropbox by 11:59pm on Nov 9th. 

-issue Presentation-



In Term 2 you will prepare a 10-15 min presentation and 2-3 discussion questions on a particular case relating to your week’s topic. Your slide show presentation will include briefly stated information on the case, your analysis of how the case relates to the week’s topic, and a set of at least 2 discussion questions.


Although your issue will relate to the readings, these presentations are not meant to be a summary of the readings. As such, you are required to do independent research on your topic.


This presentation will be prepared as a recorded and annotated slide show or video that you must share with us by Friday at 12pm, the previous week. You will do so by sharing a link to your slide show in the course forums on OWL. This way we can all watch your presentation on our own time prior to our Monday meeting.   

As part two of this assignment, our synchronous meeting on the Monday will include a discussion you will lead based on the questions you have prepared.


This assignment will weight the substantive quality of your presentation content (10%); your presentation delivery and discussion leadership (5%), and the quality of your questions along with the discussion they generate (5%). 

-Module Reflections-


T1 & T2

(2 term average)

In T1 you will complete a brief reflection on your choice of Module 1, 2, OR 3 to earn marks /10.

In T2 you will complete a second reflection on your choice of Module 6, 7, OR 8 to earn marks /10.

Your reflections must respond to 3 basic questions about the Module: 1) What concept did I find most interesting or useful? 2) What aspects of this module challenged me to think differently, and why? and 3) What questions am I still left with after this module. 

Your reflection can be in the form of a short paper (5 pages double spaced); a short video (3 mins tops), or a short podcast (3 mins tops).

You must upload a copy of your paper to your OWL dropbox; or e-mail me a link to wherever you've hosted your video or podcast.



Over the course of 2 weeks in Module 4, you will be engaging in an experiential learning exercise, where you will be assigned to one actor (a state or organizational actor) in one of several different issues or problems relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic. An important note is that you are not “representing” your actor per se-rather you are meant to develop an “expertise” on the actor and its various issues. You will each be bringing a “piece of the puzzle” to the table, hence the term “jigsaw.”

More specific instructions can be found here, but generally the project entails the following:

Prior to the first week of this assignment, you will individually prepare an information briefing consisting of a brochure style document (2 pages max- Short paragraphs, bullet points, some graphics if necessary) that you will distribute to me and to your group colleagues by uploading a copy to the course Forum on OWL


In Step 1, you will present the briefing you have prepared to your smaller group in a breakout session. The focus is to communicate your assigned actor’s issues to the rest of the group, and to foster discussions on the subject area more generally. Discussions in Step 1 will be centred around your own assigned actor’s issues.

In Step 2, you will discuss and identify areas of conflict between your assigned actors and areas of possible cooperation as well. For this step I will provide you with a list of specific questions to guide discussions. During this step, AS A GROUP, you will take consolidate a list of agreed upon answers to the questions I provide and prepare to present your findings to then rest of the class.

In Step 3 in the following week, we will have a wider class discussion where each group presents their findings and we will have a broader discussion where we talk about specific questions relating to international law and organization and reflect upon the exercise. 

Although this is a group activity, your actual grade is individually earned and this activity is self-assessed. By December 7th, you will upload to your course OWL Dropbox a short reflection on the exercise, and your self-assessment form. Your final mark is based on my assessment of these items and I also weigh your self-assessment.


Please note that this assignment requires synchronous participation, though I am more than happy to discuss alternatives if required.




You must prepare a brief proposal for your final capstone paper that contains with the following information (point form is allowed):

a) the main research question(s) guiding your paper (these are questions, not a statement)

b) your expected thesis statement (it might end up changing by the time you complete your paper)

c) a brief description of your research methods, and

d) an annotated bibliography of at least 3 possible sources.


This is due to be uploaded to your course Dropbox by 11:59pm on March 8th

-Capstone ResearcH Essay-



You will write an academic analytical research paper (2000-2500 words- not including bibliography and end-notes), which critically explores a topic relating to International Law & Organization. This assignment will be left somewhat open, allowing you to develop an original argument pertaining to the themes we have been exploring in the course. This is due to be uploaded to your course Dropbox by 11:59pm on April 5th.


You are free to develop a paper that relates to any relevant topic or case including those we have covered in the course. Students are free to discuss the proposed topic with me at any time and I would encourage you to think about this sooner rather than later. I will be happy to provide support and guidance, but I expect you to do the heavy lifting. At this level it is important for you to embrace and harness your intellectual curiosity and, as mentioned, develop your own topic. As such, I want you to explore and develop a research paper that examines an issue that will be of real interest to you. 


The following technical criteria must be met for the final analytical research essay:

  • I prefer in-text parenthetical references with an APA style bibliography list, but as long as you are consistent, you may use any well-known social science or humanities style guide for writing.

  • The assigned number of words is part of the assignment, with some wiggle room of around 250 words in either direction. The word count does not include the bibliography, endnotes or any supporting material such as charts and tables. The word count for your essay must appear on the title page.

  • Your essay is required to have at least 8 substantial academic sources, which must be books/edited volumes and/or peer-reviewed journal articles only. Assigned course readings may be used as sources- please note that book-chapters do not count as a single source individually, but rather, the book that it came from counts as a single source. This means that if you used, say, 3 chapters from a single book (or edited volume), that still only counts as 1 source out of the required minimum of 8. 

  • Multi-media (films, documentaries) or web resources (such as blogs, institutional or governmental websites etc.) can be used if cited properly, but they do not count towards the 8 required substantial academic sources. 

  • Wikipedia and other online encyclopaedias can be useful quick-reference tools but they are not legitimate sources for an essay bibliography.