JJUA55102U Laws of Armed Conflict: Rules, Principles, Context

Volume 2021/2022

The seminar will introduce the students to the core rules and principles of the laws of armed conflict. We shall focus on international humanitarian law as it has developed in relation to conflicts between states. 


We shall analyse some of the most important contemporary challenges to the laws of armed conflict. This includes the rise of new threats to state security (global terrorism/asymmetric warfare) and the emergence of cyberspace as a potential theatre of belligerent action. We shall also consider how international humanitarian law has been transformed by the introduction of human rights into the battle field. 


Among the topics covered are

  • Principles of the use of force
  • Conflict status and individual status
  • War on terrorism
  • Targeting
  • War crimes
  • Civil war
  • The relationship of human rights and international humanitarian law
  • Belligerent occupation
  • Cyber warfare
Learning Outcome

The course aims to provide students with the analytical tools needed to


1) identify and critically reflect upon theoretical problems in the rules pertaining to the use of force and the conduct of warfare and

2) assess how the traditional rules of armed conflict are being tested by the emergence of new threats and new mediums of conflict.

The following textbook will be used:

Solis, Gary D., The Law of Armed Conflict. International Humanitarian Law in War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016). 


Additional texts will be communicated at the beginning of the semester.  

By the end of the course, students will be expected to have acquired the skills to analyse and propose reasoned arguments for the often complex problems that arise in the regulation of war. Moreover, they will have acquired a general understanding of the way law and politics interact in the regulation of war.

The skills and competences that are required to succeed in the seminar will enable students to grapple with and provide solutions to the problems of theory and practice that arise in the context of one of the most dynamic and controversial fields of law.
The course presupposes that the students have a basic knowledge of public international law, including laws of war and international humanitarian law. All readings are in English and class discussions will be conducted in English. Students must be able to read,
understand and speak English at a reasonable academic level. They are expected to attend and participate actively in seminars.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • Total
  • 412,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min.
Oral exam with preparation, 20 minutes
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

week 50, 2021 - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday


week 5, 2022 - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday