Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Term 3 2012 (Day)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see http://www.law.monash.edu.au/current-students/postgraduate/pg-disc-dates.html


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%
Research Assignment (7,500 words):100%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Rob Cryer