This seminar will explore a series of legal questions related to the United Nations. The class will start by considering the way the UN Charter structures the organization, its relationship to its member states, and the organization's status and authorities under international and national law. (Why was the United Nations established? Can the United Nations legally reject the Palestinian application for membership? Why is the United Nations immune from suit in national courts -- and should it be? Under what circumstances can member states withhold financial contributions?) The class will then turn to the United Nations' role in maintaining international peace and security -- and the legality, legitimacy, and effectiveness of the United Nations' efforts. Topics covered will include sanctions, peacekeeping, and territorial administration.
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