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Unit of study_

LAWS3483: War Law: Use of Force and Humanitarian Law

2024 unit information

A vital function of public international is its struggle against violence, both in preventing it from occurring and mitigating its effects once it gets under way. This unit explores two key areas of international law devoted to regulating intense violence involving governments or non- State actors: (1) International Law on the Use of Armed Force, and (2) International Humanitarian Law (also known as the Law of Armed Conflict or the Laws of War). The first part of the course considers the prohibition on the use of force under customary law and the United Nations Charter; exceptions to that prohibition in cases of self-defence by States or collective security action by the UN Security Council; controversies over pre-emptive self-defence, humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect; peacekeeping and peace enforcement; the role of regional and international actors; and the use of force by and against non-State actors. The second part of the course considers the origins, purposes and sources of international humanitarian law; its scope of application; the different types and thresholds of conflict; the permissible means and methods of warfare (including restrictions on weapons); the status and treatment of combatants and non-combatants and others (such as spies, mercenaries, unlawful combatants, terrorists, journalists, and private security contractors); the protection of cultural property and the environment; the relationship between human rights law and humanitarian law; and the implementation, supervision and enforcement of humanitarian law (including the prosecution of war crimes and the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross).

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Law

Code LAWS3483
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
Prerequisites:
? 
None
Corequisites:
? 
None
Prohibitions:
? 
LAWS3440 or LAWS5183 or LAWS6218
Assumed knowledge:
? 
None

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. critically analyse the substantive law in each of the topic areas
  • LO2. apply advanced legal analysis and reasoning skills
  • LO3. evaluate the strengths and limitations of the relevant law
  • LO4. examine in-depth the political, ideological, ethical and philosophical implications of the law
  • LO5. investigate the sources of the law and conduct further research in the area
  • LO6. employ advanced legal writing skills, effectively communicating complex legal concepts in a clear, logical manner and concise manner.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 1 2020
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 1 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2023
Normal evening Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

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Important enrolment information

Departmental permission requirements

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