International Humanitarian Law
After successfully completed this course, students will be able to:
- identify concepts, terminology, and arenas of international humanitarian law;
- recognize and apply key sources of international humanitarian law, and comprehend the complex relationship between them;
- work on cases related to human rights violations pertaining to the field of international humanitarian law;
- develop arguments on the intersection between law, human rights and politics at international level;
- and reflect on contemporary challenges related to international humanitarian law.
Weekly - 3
Total - Available soon
- Crawford E./Pert A. (2015), International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Sassoli M. (2019), International Humanitarian Law. Rules, Controversies, and Solutions to Problems Arising in Warfare, Glos: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
- Solis G. (2010), The Law of Armed Conflict. International Humanitarian Law in War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Bailliet M. (ed.) (2019), Research Handbook on International Law and Peace, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited
- De Hert P./Smis S./Holvoet M. (eds.) (2018), Convergences and divergences between international human rights, international humanitarian and international criminal law, Cambridge; Antwerp; Portland: Intersentia
- Djukic D./Pons N. (eds.) (2018), The Companion to International Humanitarian Law, Leiden; Boston: Brill Nijhoff
- Heffes E./Kotlik M./Ventura M. (eds.) (2020), International Humanitarian Law and Non-State Actors. Debates, Law and Practice, The Hague: T.M.C. Asser Press
- Heintze H. J./Thielbörger P. (eds.) (2018), International Humanitarian Action, Cham: Springer International Publishing
- Additional readings to be found in leading journals of international (humanitarian) law:
American Journal of International Law; American Journal of Comparative Law; Chicago Journal of International Law; Common market law review; Cornell International Law Journal; European Journal of International Law; European Law Journal; Fordham International Law Journal; German Law Journal; Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations; Harvard International Law Journal; Human Rights Quarterly; Human Rights Law Review; International Journal of Constitutional Law; International Journal of Transitional Justice; International Review of the Red Cross; Journal of International Economic Law; Journal of International Criminal Justice; Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies; Journal of International Humanitarian Action; Michigan Journal of International Law; Military Law Review; New York University Journal of International Law & Policy; Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law; Virginia Journal of International Law; Yale Journal of International Law
The course will consist of short lectures and seminar-style discussion based on input provided in the form of a power point presentation. The teaching material will consist of both theories on and cases related to international humanitarian law and relevant contemporary challenges such as terrorism.
This said, the students are expected to actively participate in the in-class discussion (including exercises solving), and work on readings to be made accessible before each meeting on the Moodle platform. The readings will include articles on topics of international humanitarian law, legal texts and court decisions.
The in-class time will also be used in order to discuss at the beginning of each meeting the 'muddiest' point of the previous one (with the help of the Mentimeter application), to answer any kind of questions, and to give thoughtful feedback both to the lecturer and the students .
The course participants will be able to choose between two different kinds of assessment.
The assessment of students will proceed on the basis of the following methods:
- Regular attendance & active participation 20 % (4/20 points)
- 5.000-words essay 40 % (8/20 points)
- Final exam 40 % (8/20 points)
Total 100 % (20/20 points)
In this model, the following assessment criteria and standards will be applied:
- Regular attendance & active participation: Students have to take part in twenty out of the twenty-four meetings. Moreover, they will be asked to actively participate in the course by: making use of the reading material (to be uploaded on the Moodle platform of the university on a weekly basis) and being able to elaborate on it (e.g. short presentation of the main arguments); discussing at the beginning of each session the ¿muddiest¿ point of the previous one; and giving thoughtful feedback to their colleagues in the course of the discussion.
- 5.000-words essay: This is the final written work that students will be asked to submit, after they choose a topic or case study to work on in Week 2. The assessment of essays will be based on the successful presentation of the chosen topic or case study; the author¿s critical thinking and argumentation; structure and material organisation; the originality of the ideas included in the work; style (use of language and terminology); and proper use of literature. The final essay will be due in Week 11. For purposes of grading, essays that are submitted late will be treated as not having been submitted at all. The lecturer may make exceptions to this policy for true emergencies, such as serious illness. Requests for exceptions should be made in advance of the deadline, if possible. The decision of the professor to grant or deny a request for an exception is final and unreviewable.
- Final exam: Students will have to answer to both short and open questions, and solve exercises related to the previously described learning outcomes (see Section IV). The participation to the final exam is mandatory. The final grades will be announced in two weeks after the exam day.
The assessment of students will exclusively proceed on the basis of a 3-hour written exam. They will have to answer to both short and open questions, and solve exercises related to the previously described learning outcomes (see Section IV). The final grades will be announced in two weeks after the exam day.
This course will address international humanitarian law (hereafter IHL) as part of public international law. For this purpose, it will first introduce the participants to the historical origins and the development of IHL as well as to its scope of application and the sources applicable to it (see 1st expected learning outcome: 'identify concepts, terminology, and arenas of international humanitarian law') ¿ by highlighting the difference between the ius ad bellum (legitimacy of armed operations) and the ius in bello (law applicable during armed conflict). In this context, it will place particular importance on the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the two Additional Protocols of 1977 (see 2nd expected learning outcome: 'recognize and apply key sources of international humanitarian law, and understand the complex relationship between them'). Moreover, this course will provide an insight into: the core principles of the law of armed conflicts; the individual battlefield status and the protective regimes; various battlefield issues such as torture, targeting and the use of specific weapons (e.g. gas, biological, chemical weapons) (see 4th expected learning outcome: 'develop arguments on the intersection between law, human rights and politics at international level'); and the intersection between IHL and international criminal law with regard to the punishment of war crimes. At the end, the course will look at selected crosscutting issues of IHL: terrorism; drones; lethal autonomous weapon systems; cyber-warfare; non-state armed groups; and the involvement of corporations in armed conflicts (see 3rd and 5th expected learning outcomes: 'work on cases related to human rights violations pertaining to the field of international humanitarian law' and 'reflect on contemporary challenges related to international humanitarian law').