Module Details

LW803-7-AU-CO: International Law Of Armed Conflict

Year: 2017/18
Department: Law (School of)
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Professor Noam Lubell
Teaching Staff: Professor Noam Lubell, Dr Daragh Murray
Contact details: School of Law, University of Essex. Telephone: 01206 872568; Email:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The risk of both individual and large-scale violations of human rights is perhaps greatest in time of armed conflict, whether internal or international. Rules of international law have been designed to protect vulnerable groups not taking part in the hostilities and to regulate the conduct of the fighting to reduce, so far as possible, the risk to civilians, while taking account of military necessity.

The module starts with an introduction to the concept of legal regulation of war and the general underlying principles, to provide a context. This is followed by an examination of the classification of armed conflict and the different types of conflict recognised in international law. Then follows a detailed examination of the rules designed to protect the 'victims of war' before turning to the law on the conduct of operations and weapon use. The module includes a class examining the means available to prevent and to punish violations of the rules, and ends with a consideration of the interplay between the regimes of human rights and humanitarian law.
The emphasis throughout the module is practical. Examples are taken from real conflict situations. Since the law reflects not only humanitarian concerns but also political imperatives and military necessity, the module seeks to examine how, in practical terms, respect for the rules could be improved.

Learning and Teaching Methods

This module is taught over a period of 9 weeks, through two-hour long seminars.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


This module is assessed by way of a take-home exam

Further information

External Examiner Information

  • Name: Prof Philip Leach
    Institution: Middlesex University
    Academic Role: Professor