JUS5912 – Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy in International Law

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Course content

Through this course, the students will develop their lawyering skills on legal writing and oral advocacy in international law. Taking this course presupposes prior knowledge of international law and its practice. While acknowledging the growing complexity and differences among various fields of international law, the course will address some of the main issues arising in the context of practicing international law before two permanent international courts, namely the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). The course shall also help the students improve their academic legal writing skills.

The main issues covered during the seminars include an introduction to legal research methods in international law, the structure of legal argumentation, the interpretation of different international legal sources, good legal writing, and oral advocacy skills. Students will learn how to find and use various sources of international law, approach international legal questions from an academic or lawyering perspective, and construct sound legal arguments. Necessary attention will be paid also to ensuring proper referencing and avoiding plagiarism.

Writing skills are developed through a couple of non-graded short written exercises, culminating in the writing of a final written submission based on a fictitious case. Oral advocacy skills are developed through lectures and short videos, and focus on presentations and mooting. The improvement of oral advocacy skills shall serve the students in different professional situations, as well as help them prepare for a mock trial presentation before a bench of selected judges.

Every student will be assigned a role as either applicant or respondent. The written submission and oral presentation will be assessed by international law experts. The final assessment for this course is based on both a written submission and a mock trial presentation, based on a fictitious case. The written submission will be of a maximum of 4,000 words, footnotes included.

For students enrolled in Rettsvitenskap (jus) (master - 5 år): Have you considered a specialization as part of your degree? The course is part of the profile Internasjonal rett.

Read more about profiles.


The course is open for students enrolled in the 5-years Master of Law (master i rettsvitenskap) at the University of Oslo. Students enrolled in the LL.M. programme in Public International Law will be given priority to this course.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Students must fill one of these requirements

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with JUR5912 – International Law in Practice - Mock Trial (discontinued)


Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all literature and auxiliary materials are in English.

Teaching will consist of seminars.


Written assignment with a maximum of 4000 words and oral examination (the assignment has been reduced to 4,000 words from A21).

The written assignment will encompass solving problem based questions, i.e. writing briefs for a fictitious case. The oral examination will be a 10 min per presentation (rebuttal and surrebuttal time included within the 10 minutes allocation; rebuttal time preferably 2 minutes, surrebuttal time preferably 1 minute) on the basis of the written assignment. More details about the home and oral examination will be published on the semester page for this course (see current semester).

The written assignment is graded A-F while the candidate is awarded either a passing or a failing grade on the oral examination. Candidates who fail or do not submit the written assignment will not be able to attend the oral examination and thus fail the course. Candidates who fail or do not attend the oral examination will fail the course as well.

Use of sources and rules for citing.

Be sure that you are familiar with the use of sources and the rules for citing/quoting from others’ work
UiO uses a plagiarism checking tool as one of several instruments for detecting suspicion of cheating and attempted cheating.

More details about the written assignment will be published on the information page for this course (click on current semester).

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The written examination must be in English, and oral examination must be given in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Marking criteria 

This  guide is used by examiners for grading this course.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take this exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these obligations.

Facts about this course






This course will not be offered autumn 2022 due to sabbatical. The course will be offered again autumn 2023


Every autumn

Teaching language