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Unit of study_

LAWS6062: International Law-the Use of Armed Force

The objectives of this unit are to understand and gain a sound knowledge of the legal principles and rules governing the resort to armed force by States; be able to analyse a complex factual situation, recognise the issues arising, and determine the international legal rights and responsibilities of the parties involved; and gain awareness and understanding of current issues relating to the use of force and United Nations practice in matters affecting international peace and security. The course looks at the legal principles and rules governing the resort to force by States; operation of the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter dealing with the use of force, self-defence and collective security; relevant state practice in interpreting the UN Charter; the legal issues arising from the use of force against terrorism; the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence and its legality under international law; legality of the use of force to assist rebels; the role of the United Nations in peace-building, peace-making, peace-keeping, and peace enforcement; and the legal issues arising from humanitarian intervention and the emerging principle of the responsibility to protect. This unit does not cover the law regulating the conduct of armed conflict (jus in bello), which is the subject of the separate unit LAWS6218 International Humanitarian Law.

Code LAWS6062
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS3483 or LAWS5183

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

  • LO1. demonstrate sound knowledge of the substantive law in each of the topic areas
  • LO2. demonstrate stronger skills of advanced legal analysis and reasoning
  • LO3. demonstrate a deeper understanding of the strengths and limitations of the relevant law
  • LO4. demonstrate awareness of the political, ideological and ethical implications of the law
  • LO5. demonstrate greater familiarity with the methods of international law research
  • LO6. demonstrate the ability to think, and write, clearly and critically about the topics covered in the unit.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.