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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: LAWM015 Module Title: LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAWM015
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BREAU SC Dr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability

2nd Semester


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting towards Module Mark (%)










Module Overview

This module is an advanced level course on the principles of public international law which regulate the use of force in international society.





Module Aims

The course examines both the law relating to when it is permissible to use force (The Jus ad Bellum) and the law governing the conduct of hostilities once the decision to resort to force has been taken (International Humanitarian Law).  The module encourages the development of a critical perspective on the matters relating to the customary and treaty laws which prohibit or authorize the use of force in international relations and to develop an analytical framework conerning the institutional structures which attempt to regulate both the initiation of armed conflict and the conduct of armed forces involved in military operations.


Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of this module are:


·             To develop an understanding of the core principles of the international law on international intervention, the use of force, peace operations and international humanitarian law


·             To understand the relationship of these rules to the general rules of public international law


·             To be able to critically evaluate the rules, policies and principles on when it is permissible to use force and the laws governing the conduct of hostilities


·             To understand the institutional structure regulating the use of force including international courts and tribunals


·             To be able to identify and attempt to resolve legal problems relating to the use of force in international relations


Module Content

·        The Prohibition on the Use of Force in Customary International Law


·        Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter


·        Self-defence in International Law


·        Humanitarian Intervention As A Justification For The Use Of Force


·        Other Disputed Unilateral Uses Of Force: Rescue Of Nationals, Intervention To Promote Democracy, Reprisals And Intervention In Civil Wars


·        Collective Security: Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter


·        The Right To Participate In Armed Hostilities


·        The Law of Weaponry


·        The Protection of Civilians


·        Belligerent Occupation


Methods of Teaching/Learning

8 x 3-hour seminars.  The seminars will be interactive and students will be expected to come prepared for the seminar and engage actively in discussions


Selected Texts/Journals

C. Gray, International Law and the Use of Force 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, 2008)


Y. Dinstein, The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict 2nd edition (Cambridge University Press, 2010)


L. Green, The Contemporary Law of Armed Conflict, 3rd edition, (Manchester University Press 2008)


Y. Dinstein, War, Aggression and Self-defence 4th edition, (Cambridge University Press, 2005)


Roberts and Guelff (eds), Documents on the Laws of War ( Oxford , 3rd ed., 2000). 



Recommended Monographs and Collected Editions:


S.A. Alexandrov, Self-defense against the use of force in international law (Kluwer International Law 1996)


S. Breau, Humanitarian Intervention: The United Nations and Collective Responsibility, (Cameron May 2006)


S. Breau and E. Wilmshurst (eds), Perspectives on the ICRC Customary Law Study (Cambridge University Press, 2007)


A, Cassese ed., The Current Legal Regulation on the Use of Force, (Martinus Nijhoff, 1986)


T. Franck, Recourse to Force: State Action Against Threats and Armed Attacks ( Cambridge University Press, 2002)


L. Green, The Contemporary Law of Armed Conflict, 3rd edition, (Manchester University Press 2008)


C. Greenwood, Essays on War in International Law, (Cameron May 2007)


A. Rogers, Law on the Battlefield 2nd ed., ( Manchester University Press, 2004)


Ministry of Defence, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, ( Oxford University Press, 2004)



Reference texts:


ICRC. Customary International Humanitarian Law, 3 volumes, (Cambridge University Press, 2005)






Journal of Conflict and Security Law


International Review of the Red Cross


American Journal of International Law


European Journal of International Law


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