JJUA55101U Law and International Security

Volume 2016/2017

The course examines a range of contemporary security threats that are of concern to both states and the international society. At a general level, the topics that will be discussed relate to recent changes in the nature of warfare and conflict and the implications that increasing participation of non-state actors, such as transnational terrorist organizations, and proliferation of new technologies has for the law relating to the use of coercive measures, including armed force.

The course covers various issues of legal theory and practice related to, among other things, international terrorism (the nature of terrorism, definitions, transatlantic approaches to fighting terrorism etc.), contemporary instances of the use of armed force (including the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect, the basis for the use of force against the Islamic State, the US program for targeted killings, cyber-related means of coercion etc.), new forms of armed conflict (including conflicts with terrorist organizations, the existing conflict with the Islamic State, the concept of a ‘combatant’ in 21st century conflicts etc.), the role of human rights law in the fight against contemporary security threats (the territorial scope of human rights law, the issue of derogations, the interrelationship between human rights law and the laws of war etc.) and the use of law and legal fora as a coercive and strategic tool (coercive diplomacy, the ICC as political leverage, lawfare etc.)

Learning Outcome

The aim of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the most important legal issues associated with contemporary security threats of international concern. By providing an insight into changes to the nature of conflict and a thorough overview of the theoretical and legal doctrine that relate to the use of force, the laws of war, human rights and emerging technologies, the course will enable the students to critically analyze and reflect on the theoretical and legal challenges of the contemporary international security threats.

1. The nature of warfare in the 21st century

Required readings:

1) Mary Kaldor, “Beyond Militarism, Arms Races and Arms Control”, Social Science Research Council.

2) […]

2. The use of force in the 21st century (jus ad bellum) – introduction, the legal framework, the UN Charter.

Readings: 1) Mary Ellen O’Connell, International Law and the Use of Force: Cases and Materials, Foundation Press, 2005, pp. 83-104.

2) James Crawford, Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law (8th ed.), 2012, pp. 744-774.

3. The use of force (jus ad bellum) in practice. The American drone program, the use of force against the Islamic State, the right to humanitarian intervention.

Readings: 1) Anders Henriksen, ‘Jus ad Bellum and American targeted use of force to fight terrorism around the world’, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, vol. 19, no. 2 (20014), pp. 211-250.

2) Anders Henriksen & Marc Schack, ‘The Crisis in Syria and Humanitarian Intervention’, Journal on the Use of Force and International Law, vol. 1, no. 1 (2014), pp. 122-147 [?].

4. Technology and legitimacy in drone warfare

Readings: 1) Jack Beard, “Law and War in the Virtual Era”.

2) Paul Kahn, “The Paradox of Riskless Warfare”

5. Terrorism, legal definition and theoretical problem

Readings: 1) Ben Saul, Attempts to define terrorism in international law, NILR, p. 1 – 28.

2) Philip Bobbitt, Terror and Consent. The Wars for the Twenty-First Century, pp. 23-84.

6. Global War on Terror 2.0

Readings: 1) Audrey Kurth Cortin, “What is Really Changing. Change and Continuity in Global Terrorism”. Additional readings to be announced

7. How are we fighting the war on terror – Europe/US?

Readings: 1) Amnon Lev, “War on Terror and International Law: Towards a Continental Divide”,

2) Boumediene et al. vs. Bush,

3) Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation vs. Council and Commission

8. IHL in the 21st century (jus in bello) – introduction, conflicts status, individual status

Readings: 1) Gary D. Solis, The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War, Cambridge University Press (2010), pp. 149-185.

2) Gary D. Solis, The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War, Cambridge University Press (2010), pp. 186-239.

9. IHL in practice. Armed conflict with IS? A global battlefield? Combatants?

Readings: 1) ICRC, Interpretive guidance on the notion of direct participation in hostilities under international humanitarian law, 2009 pp. 69-82.

2) High Court of Israel, The Public Committee against Torture in Israel et al. v. the Government of Israel et al.

3) Robert M. Chesney, “Postwar,” Harvard National Security Journal (2014). [?]

10. Human rights in wartime. Applicability of human rights abroad (extra-territorial application of human rights). The interaction between human rights and IHL. Lex specialis?

Readings: 1) Françoise J. Hampson, ‘Is human rights law of any relevance to military operations in Afghanistan?

2) ECtHR: The Al-Skeini case, 2011 and the Hassan case 2014.

11. [Automation I]

Readings: 1) […]

12. [Automation II]

Readings: 1) […]

13. International law and politics in cyberspace

Readings: 1) Matthew Waxman, “Cyber-Attacks and the Use of Force: Back to the Future of Article 2  (4), Yale Journal of International Law, Vo. 36 (2011), pp. 421-459.

2) Anders Henriksen, ‘Lawful State Responses to Low Level Cyber Attacks’, Nordic Journal of International Law, vol. 84, no. 2 (2015), pp. 323-351.

3) Anders Henriksen, ‘Politics and the Development of Legal Norms in Cyberspace’, in Conflict in Cyberspace, Routledge, (forthcoming 2016)

14. International law as coercive diplomacy

Readings: 1) Alexander George et al. “The Limits of Coercive Diplomacy” (2. ed. 1994), p. 13-21, Daniel Byman & Matthew Waxman “The dynamics of coercion” (2002), p. 30-47, Martha Crenshaw “Coercive Diplomacy and the Response to Terrorism” (in Art/Cronin “The United States and coercive diplomacy”, 2003), p. 305-314 , Matthew Kroenig & Barry Pavel “How to deter terrorism” (The Washington Quarterly, 35:2), p. ?21-34 ?

15. Lawfare – the strategic use of legal arguments

Readings: 1) Charles J. Dunlap Jr., “Lawfare Today … and Tomorrow”, in Pedrozo, Raul A. “Pete” & Daria P. Wollschlaeger (Eds.), International Law and the Changing Character of War, International Law Studies (the Blue Book), Vol. 87, Naval War College, Newport, 2011, pp. 315-325.

2) Dale Stephens, “The Age of Lawfare”, in Pedrozo, Raul A. “Pete” & Daria P. Wollschlaeger (Eds.), International Law and the Changing Character of War, International Law Studies (the Blue Book), Vol. 87, Naval War College, Newport, 2011, pp. 327-356.

A fair knowledge of the English language is a minimum requirement. Students will be required to participate actively in class. Participants must have completed a standard course in Public International Law.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 364,5
  • Seminar
  • 48
  • Total
  • 412,5
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutter
Oral exam with preparation, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

December 5 - 9, 2016 (preliminary dates)


Please see "Academic calendar" on KUnet.