Postgraduate Module Descriptor

LAWM097: The International Law of Armed Conflict

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.


NQF Level7
Credits30 ECTS Value15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Aurel Sari (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


Ever since human beings have organized themselves into political communities, they have engaged in warfare against each other and in attempts to limit the effects of such hostilities. Today, public international law contains two sets of rules regulating recourse to armed force. First, the law on the use of force (also known as the jus ad bellum), which governs when States may resort to armed force in international relations. Second, the law of armed conflict (also known as the jus in bello or international humanitarian law), which comprises rules regulating the conduct of armed hostilities. The present course deals with this second set of rules. It will provide you with a detailed understanding of the core principles, concepts and rules of the law of armed conflict, focusing in particular on the rules governing land warfare. Although many of these rules are long-standing, recent developments in military technology and tactics—such as the emergence of cyber warfare, the practice of targeted killings or the use of unmanned weapons systems—have given rise to challenging questions concerning their applicability to contemporary battlefields, making this a particularly exciting time to study the subject.

Prior exposure to public international law is recommended, but not absolutely essential for the study of this module. Students who have not studied public international law before are advised to undertake additional introductory reading and will be offered specific guidance. 

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