Courses & Units

War! The Moral and Legal Limits of Political Violence XBR301



When, if ever, is it morally permissible for a nation to go to war? When is a war illegal? What are the moral limits that nations ought to observe once they are at war? What actions count as war crimes under international law? This unit brings the perspectives of International Relations, Philosophy and Law to bear upon these questions. It will provide you with the intellectual resources to reach your own informed judgments about when it would be morally right for your nation to resort to the use of armed force and what limits the use of such force would have to observe.

This unit is one of a suite of Breadth Units developed to deepen and extend your learning at the University of Tasmania.  Faculties have come together to create units that address the challenges of the world we live in, from the perspectives of multiple disciplines.

This unit XBR301 will develop your potential as a national and global citizen by providing you with the resources to arrive at an informed view about the use of violence for political ends. It will also inform you about the existence of systems of international law, non-government organisations and other resources through which you can magnify your own individual ethical conduct into influence on world affairs.


Unit name War! The Moral and Legal Limits of Political Violence
Unit code XBR301
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School DVC Students & Education
Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching (TILT)
Discipline Law|Philosophy and Gender Studies|Politics and International Relations
Coordinator Prof D Baltzly
Teaching staff Prof D Baltzly, Dr M Killingsworth, Dr P Lawrence, Prof D Sadler
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? Yes


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus Off-Campus International International Domestic Domestic


International students
Domestic students

Units are offered as On-campus where the majority of teaching will occur at the campus identified.  Units offered Off-campus generally have no requirement for attendance at a physical university campus unless the unit has practical or fieldwork components*:  the campus indicated for an Off-Campus unit is the one at which teaching is administered from.

*Please read the Unit Introduction in the Course and Unit Handbook for attendance requirements for units offered in Off-campus mode.

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 17/7/2017 10/8/2017 4/9/2017 20/10/2017

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2017 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2017 will be available from the 1st October 2016.

About Census Dates



Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
1 2017: $793.00 2017: $1,903.00 090300

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



25 points of 2nd year studies in any faculty

Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:

HIR204, HIR304


Teaching Pattern

On Campus:   2 hours lecture and 1 hour tutorial, over 13 weeks

Off Campus:    web based delivery

AssessmentWritten assignments 100%
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable


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The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.