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LAW7218 - International humanitarian law

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Mr Gideon Boas


City First semester 2007 (Evening)


International humanitarian law (IHL) is a body of law that governs the conduct of armed conflict. It is established and developed to limit the effects of armed conflict, establishing protection for civilians and combatants no longer participating in the conflict. After an introduction to the concept and role of IHL, the unit examines its
historical development, the body of rules and their sources, particularly the Geneva Conventions of 1949
and their Additional Protocols of 1977, and the development of IHL through the interpretation of custom by international courts and tribunals, by states and by the International Committee of the Red Cross.


Students will learn about the permissibility of armed
conflict in international law, the way in which IHL
regulates the conduct of armed conflict (eg.
indentification of lawful combatants, protection of
civilians and combatants, permissible weaponry,
obligations and rights of peace-keeping forces, the legal and practical role of defence forces and humanitarian workers), the way in which IHL is enforced (international 'war crimes' tribunals and domestic equivalents, including the International Criminal Court) and future challenges for IHL.


Research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
Take home examination (3,750 words): 50% OR
Research Assignment (7,500 words):100%