Laws of Armed Conflict: Rules, Principles, Context

Course content

The seminar introduces the students to the core rules and principles of the laws of armed conflict. 


We analyse some of the most important contemporary challenges to the laws of armed conflict. This includes the rise of terrorism and the re-emergence of conventional warfare as a security threat in the Western world, with the attendant question of conditions of co-belligerency. We 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
  • Co-belligerency
  • Targeting
  • War crimes
  • Civil war
  • The relationship of human rights and international humanitarian law
  • Belligerent occupation
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, 2021). 


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


It is illegal to share digital textbooks with each other without permission from the copyright holder.

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.

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.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min.
Type of assessment details
Oral exam with preparation, 20 minutes

Read about the descriptions of the individual exam forms, including formal requirements, scope and deadlines in the exam catalogue

Read about practical exam conditions at KUnet

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Week 50 - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday


Week 5 - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 356,5
  • Seminar
  • 56
  • English
  • 412,5


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

  1. Students enrolled at Faculty of Law or holding a pre-approval: No tuition fee
  2. Professionals: Please visit our website  
Please see timetable for teaching hours
Contracting department
  • Law
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator
  • Amnon Lev   (9-687475767535736c7d47717c7935727c356b72)
Saved on the 30-04-2024

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students