LAW4689 - International humanitarian law - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Prof Sarah Joseph

Unit guides



  • Term 2 2019 (On-campus block of classes)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112 and LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015:

LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104




The unit teaches students about the international laws of armed conflict (LOAC), known also as International Humanitarian Law. It will cover the historical development and sources of LOAC, including the permissible methods and means of armed conflict; the protection regime under the Geneva Conventions, their Additional Protocols and the developing body of customary international law; the distinction between combatants and civilians; and enforcement regimes such as that under the International Criminal Court. It will also cover the imbalance of protection between international and non-international armed conflict, and the law of jus ad bellum, that is when war is legal and when it is illegal.


At the successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • apply knowledge and understanding of the regulation of armed conflict through international humanitarian law;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to international humanitarian law and its relationship with neighbouring areas of law;
  • conduct basic research in international humanitarian law based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods; and
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skill to generate and evaluate ideas and concepts relevant to the enforcement of international humanitarian law and to current and future challenges for international humanitarian law.


Prato attendance requirement: Students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit.

Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

Class participation: 10%

Research assignment (2,250 words): 45%

Take home examination (2,250 words): 45%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 36 contact hours of seminars per semester [in Prato they will have 36 contact hours over one month] whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering.

See also Unit timetable information