CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours

The International Humanitarian Law course will embark on the discussion of the basic tenets of the law of armed conflict. The course will consist of lectures and practically oriented seminars during which the students will work on case solution and presentation of the results.

At the outset, the course will shortly examine the definition, scope, historical development and sources of international humanitarian law. Students will get an insight into the distinction between the use of armed force law (jus ad bellum) and international humanitarian law (jus in bello). The course will explore the lex specialis character of international humanitarian law. The current and frozen armed conflicts (Ukraine, Afghanistan, Palestinian territories and Israel, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Kenya, Turkey and Iraq) will be assessed in light of the distinction between international armed conflict (IAC) and non-international armed conflict (NIAC) and the applicable regimes they entail.

The course will then examine the main principles applicable during warfare. They include principle of humanity, military necessity, principle of distinction, principle of proportionality, and prohibition to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

The course will further explore different groups of persons involved in situations of IAC and NIAC and regime of protection attributable to them. Through practical exercises students will learn to classify different people during armed conflicts and the relevant protection regimes.

A separate lecture will be devoted to the methods and means of warfare in order to get an insight into the kinds of weapons and tactics that are allowed to be used in zones of armed conflict. The core of this course will be practical interactive seminars of solving cases with regard to the principles of international humanitarian law and applicable rules of Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. Moreover, the course will examine the interaction between international humanitarian law and human rights. It will also assess the responsibility of States and international organizations as well as application of international humanitarian law during multinational operations, where many States’ national armed forces act alongside and together with international organizations. In addition to that, the Rules of Engagement (ROE) will be examined in light of the law of armed conflict. The course will conclude by analysis of enforcement of law of armed conflict by the involved parties – individuals, non-State actors, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as State governments.

RBE208 Course Outline.pdfRBE208 Course Outline.pdf