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Unit of study_

LAWS6062: International Law-the Use of Armed Force

2024 unit information

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. Further information about this unit is available in the Sydney Law School timetable, unit of study outline and academic staff profile

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code LAWS6062
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS3483 or LAWS5183
Assumed knowledge:

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 the ability to think, and write, clearly and critically about the topics covered in the unit.

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 ? 
Intensive May 2024
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Intensive November 2020
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2a 2022
Block mode Remote

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.

Important enrolment information

Departmental permission requirements

If you see the ‘Departmental Permission’ tag below a session, it means you need faculty or school approval to enrol. This may be because it’s an advanced unit, clinical placement, offshore unit, internship or there are limited places available.

You will be prompted to apply for departmental permission when you select this unit in Sydney Student.

Read our information on departmental permission.