LAW5338 - International humanitarian law - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Not offered in 2017


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7218


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.


On completion of this unit students will be able to

  • apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to the permissibility of armed conflict in international law, and the way in which the international humanitarian law regulates the conduct of armed conflict with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to international humanitarian law;
  • conduct research in international humanitarian law based on knowledge of appropriate research principle and methods; and
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skill to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to way in which international humanitarian law is enforced and future challenges for international humanitarian law.


Class participation: 10%

Research assignment (3,750 words): 45%

Take home examination (3,750 words): 45%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements).

Chief examiner(s)