Courses & Units

International Humanitarian Law LAW623

Hobart

Note:

Summer school intensive unit. Semester 2 Off campus offering is only available for outbound exchange students studying an equivalent unit overseas on approved international exchange.

Introduction

International Law purports to regulate military force in two key ways. The first we refer to as the jus ad bellum - the legal regulation of the circumstances in which resort to military force is justified. The heated public debate about whether or not Australia was legally justified in joining the US and the UK in invading Iraq in 2003 is a classic example of the interpretation and application of this area of International Law. The key treaty here is the UN Charter with its general prohibition on resort to military force and its principal exceptions in Chapter VII - UN Security Council authorisation of resort to force and the right of self-defence.

The second area of International Law we refer to as the jus in bello, International Humanitarian Law, the Law of War or the Law of Armed Conflict (all basically synonymous terms). Here International Law purports to regulate the actual conduct of military hostilities insisting upon a distinction between combatants and civilians, imposing limits on the targeting of military objectives, prohibiting the use of particular weapons and establishing minimum standards of treatment for prisoners of war and civilians affected by armed conflict.

The focus of this course is the second area involving International Law and the regulation of military force. Some would argue that war, of all human activity, is no place for law - or that any notion that law might regulate military conduct is naive and deluded. The International Committee of the Red Cross, with its multilateral treaty mandate as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions, profoundly disagrees with such scepticism arguing that law can indeed moderate the conduct of military hostilities. If there were no rules in war, military hospitals would be bombed all the time instead of only some of the time! There is no question that the relatively recent sharp increase in war crimes trials around the world has led inexorably to a surge in awareness of International Humanitarian Law and, some would argue, increased respect for this body of law. Allegations of Israeli war crimes in Gaza or Sri Lankan Government war crimes on the Jaffna Peninsula are but some of the recent high-profile examples of media fascination with International Humanitarian Law.

Summary

Unit name International Humanitarian Law
Unit code LAW623
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School Faculty of Law
Teaching staff

Prof T McCormack

Level Advanced

Availability

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

Key

On-campus
Off-Campus
International students
Domestic students

Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 13/7/2015 10/8/2015 31/8/2015 16/10/2015

* 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 2015 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2015 will be available from the 1st October 2014.

About Census Dates

Fees

Domestic

Band CSP Student Contribution Full Fee Paying (domestic) Field of Education
3 2015: $1,283.00 2015: $1,486.00 090999

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.

Requisites

  • Pre-requisites: Either LAW631 AND LAW221, LAW222, LAW223, LAW224, LAW225, LAW226, LAW204, LAW205 OR LAW631 AND LAW250, LAW251 LAW252, LAW253, LAW254, LAW255, LAW256, LAW204.

Teaching

Teaching Pattern

To be taught intensively in summer period.

Assessment

2000 word written assignment (30%); two hour open book examination (70%).

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable

Textbooks

RequiredNone
Co-op Bookshop links

Note:

Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Special approval is required for enrolment into TNE Program units.

TNE Program units special approval requirements.