Postgraduate Module Descriptor

LAWM716: The International Law of Military Operations

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits30 ECTS Value15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (10 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Aurel Sari (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module examines the rules of international law governing the presence, status and conduct of military operations outside the context of an armed conflict. States have deployed their armed forces abroad to wage war for centuries. While this practice continues to this day, States now frequently deploy their troops abroad for other, non-combat missions. In fact, such deployments have become a standard feature of contemporary international relations. States regularly send their armed forces abroad to participate in operations ranging from training and humanitarian missions to counter-piracy and peace support operations. Such deployments raise a wide range of questions under international law. What is the legal basis of the presence of foreign forces? What legal regimes govern their activities? Are foreign troops bound to respect human rights during their missions? Who is responsible for damage and injury caused by multinational forces? Despite their practical significance, these questions are not traditionally addressed by postgraduate courses at British universities. The present module is designed to address this gap by offering you a unique opportunity to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the legal framework governing military operations.

Prior exposure to public international law is recommended, but is not absolutely essential for the study of this module. Students who have not studied public international law in the past are advised to undertake additional introductory reading and will be offered specific guidance. The module is designed to complement our other modules in this pathway.

Please note that students enrolled on this module are expected to participate in a simulation exercise as part of their formative assessment. Students who are enrolled on less than four modules qualifying for the LLM pathway in International Law, Conflict and Security may have to contribute up to 9 hours of their guided independent study time towards their participation in the simulation.

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