International Humanitarian Law
Full course description
This course offers a thorough introduction into the law of international and non-international armed conflict. Topics covered include the means and methods of warfare, the treatment of prisoners of war, the protection of the wounded and the treatment of civilians, and the methods of implementation and enforcement. Particular attention will paid to current challenges to International Humanitarian Law, such as asymmetric warfare, targeted killings by drones, cyber warfare, the use of new technologies and the use of private military contractors. Are the present rules of International Humanitarian Law adequate to regulate these activities or are new rules required? In order to find answers to these questions we will study relevant international legal instruments, case law and the literature. Lectures employing the Socratic method will present the big picture. Small group sessions employing the problem based learning method will focus on concrete examples from recent armed conflicts, such as the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, including Iraq and Syria.
Students that have successfully completed this course are able to identify the relevant rules and principles of International Humanitarian Law and apply them to actual situations. They also have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of International Humanitarian Law.
E. Crawford and A. Pert, International Humanitarian Law (2nd ed.; Cambridge: CUP, 2020)