Courses & Units

Law of Armed Conflict and International Criminal Law LAW277


Some argue that war, of all human activity, is no place for law; any notion that law might regulate military conduct is naive and deluded. Although egregious violations of the law are common, international criminal courts and tribunals hold some of those most responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to account. This has led to a surge in awareness of International Humanitarian Law and, some would argue, increased respect for this body of law. This unit explores the development and operation of two dynamic and interacting bodies of international law - international criminal and international humanitarian law.

International Humanitarian Law (also known as the Law of War or the Law of Armed Conflict) is the body of international law which regulates the conduct of military hostilities - distinguishing 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.

You will consider the historical development of International Humanitarian Law, its substantive rules, and its efficacy as a tempering influence on human suffering in armed conflict. You will also explore the contribution that International Criminal Law is making to increased awareness of and respect for the law, particularly through the conduct of war crimes trials.


Unit name Law of Armed Conflict and International Criminal Law
Unit code LAW277
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law
Coordinator Professor Tim McCormack
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


This unit is currently unavailable.

* 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 (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

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Learning Outcomes

  • Describe and explain the core features of the broad topic areas of International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law and how those two bodies of international law intersect
  • Identify, conceptualise and research International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law problems and issues
  • Contexutalise International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law in the broader policy, diplomatic, military and political contexts in which these bodies of law operate
  • Evaluate the efficacy of existing International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law, identify major challenges to both legal regimes, and assess options for law reform

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
not applicable

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

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50 credit points of Introductory units - to do this unit it is recommended that you have completed LAW102

Mutual Exclusions

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

LAW623 and LAW677


AssessmentExamination - take home (50%)|Critique (20%)|Research Paper (30%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Rain Liivoja and Tim McCormack (eds), Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict, (Routledge, 2016).

The UTas Library has purchased an eBook version of the text and students enrolled in the unit will be provided with details to download a free pdf copy of it prior to the commencement of the Unit.

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