LAW8135 : Law of Armed Conflict

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•       To provide students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the international regime applicable in armed conflict;
•       To provide students with an awareness of the historical backdrop against which the regime developed;
•       To stimulate students’ awareness of contemporary, and future, challenges for the law;
•       To ensure that students understand the relationship between the law of armed conflict and other relevant regimes such as international human rights law;
•       To provide an exposition of how violations of the law are identified and enforced; and to consider the limitations inherent in this context;
•       To develop students’ capacity for critical analysis and problem solving;
•       To develop students’ research skills through the preparation of coursework and class presentations;
•       To encourage student-driven learning.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       History and sources of the law of armed conflict
•       Conflict qualification and the differences between international armed conflicts and non-international armed conflicts
•       Conduct of hostilities and the principal substantive rules regulating conflict
•       Protected persons and objects
•       Relationship to other regimes such as international human rights law
•       Enforcement through state and individual responsibility
•       Consideration of case studies and the rules in operation

List of Seminars (Provisional):

1.       Introduction (History, Actors, Key Treaties)
2.       Conflict Qualification I: International Armed Conflicts
3.       Conflict Qualification II: Non-International Armed Conflicts
4.       The Conduct of Hostilities I: Distinction
5.       The Conduct of Hostilities II: Proportionality and Precautions
6.       The Conduct of Hostilities III: Methods of Warfare
7.       The Conduct of Hostilities IV: Means of Warfare
8.       The Conduct of Hostilities V: Regulating New Technologies
9.       The Conduct of Hostilities VI: Protected Persons
10.       The Conduct of Hostilities VII: Protected Objects
11.       Related Regimes I: LOAC and International Human Rights Law
12.       Related Regimes II: LOAC and the Law of Occupation
13.       Enforcement of the Law of Armed Conflict
14.       Case Studies (Student Led)
15.       Revision Seminar

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching152:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1016:00160:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars provide an ideal opportunity for a dynamic and thorough discussion of the matters under consideration, allowing for the examination of detailed issues and the contribution of all students in the group. Students are required to undertake in-depth preparation, including by undertaking independent research, and to develop and present legal arguments to the group by reference to academic commentary, the law and the jurisprudence. This allows students to develop research and analytical skills, to develop substantial legal arguments, and to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the complexities and impact derived from the interaction between different legal orders on the status of individuals.

Private study constitutes self-directed study (especially in preparation for the assessed coursework) as well as study on the basis of the previously shared seminar questions and reading list.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1352A673 out of 6 questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M332000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides an important incentive for students to establish substantial knowledge in the subject. The examination tests the demonstration of knowledge and understanding by applying the skills that need to be developed over the whole module. The examination provides a means for testing students' ability to analyse, synthesise, deploy critical judgement and evaluate alternative arguments. It also allows candidates to demonstrate intended learning outcomes across a broad range of topics within the syllabus.

The assessed coursework will give students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their research skills, undertake critical analysis, and present coherent arguments supported by appropriate legal basis, case-law, and literature.

Reading Lists