LEGAL576-21B (HAM)

The Laws of Armed Conflict & International Humanitarian Law

30 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
Te Piringa - Faculty of Law


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Paper Description

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This paper is designed to provide the postgraduate student with an advanced understanding of the basic principles of the Laws of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law through an examination of the principles of international law that are to be applied before, during, and after armed conflict.

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Paper Structure

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This is a semester long FLEXI paper. Students can attend a weekly seminar, which will also be live streamed and recorded. A detailed lecture outline for this course may be found at the end this course outline.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • understand, analyse and critique the laws, procedures and institutions which comprise the laws of armed conflict
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • understand, analyse and critique contemporary the law and practice of the laws of armed conflict.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1.  Research Proposal
16 Aug 2021
12:00 PM
2. Research Project
18 Oct 2021
1:00 PM
3. Research Seminar Presentation
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Recommended Readings

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Whilst there is no single recommended text for this paper, the Law Library holds a number of highly relevant textbooks on armed conflict and humanitarian law such as:

Detter, The Law of War (2016)

Dinstein, War, Aggression and Self-Defence (2017)

Dinstein, The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict (2016)

Gillespie, A History of the Laws of War (2011)

Solis, The Law of Armed Conflict (2016)

Sassoli and Bouvier, How Does the Law Protect in War (2014) available on line:

Yoram Dinstein Non-International Armed Conflicts in International Law (2021)

Introductory chapters to IHL can be found in International Law texts such as

Shaw, International Law (2017)

Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, (8th ed, OUP, Oxford: 2012)

Harris, Cases and Materials on International Law, (7th ed, Thomson/Sweet & Maxwell, London: 2010)

Evans, International Law 5th ed (2018)

Abass International Law: Text Cases and Materials 2nd ed (OUP, Oxford: 2014)

Students should also be familiar with the library’s international law journals, e.g., Journal of conflict & security law, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, and the International Commission of Jurists’ Review. The International Review of the Red Cross (available on line) is particularly valuable.

Further material may be provided on the paper site on Moodle (, the University of Waikato’s online learning system. Any such material is provided on the following terms:

University of Waikato owns the intellectual property rights, including copyright, in and to this site, or has acquired the necessary licenses to display the material on the site. As a student of the Te Piringa - Faculty of Law, you are granted a limited license to use (access, display or print a single copy) the material from the papers in which you are enrolled for the purposes of participating in the paper only, provided the information is not modified. Materials may not under any circumstances be copied, stored, distributed or provided in any form or method whatsoever to any third party. Any other use of the material is prohibited. None of the material may be otherwise reproduced, reformatted, republished or re-disseminated in any manner or form without the prior written consent of University of Waikato. To obtain such consent, please contact the Te Piringa - Faculty of Law.

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Online Support

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Online support for this paper is provided via Moodle.

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Students should expect to spend 300 hours in total on this paper. In addition to lecture attendance, significant time will need to be spent on background and complementary reading. Students should allow for periods of more-focused research time in the preparation of assignments and/or presentations.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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There are clear linkages between this paper and other papers with a focus on Human Rights, International Law, International Criminal Law and Public International Law.

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Restricted papers: LAWS576

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