University of Tasmania Home Page Course and Units 2014
 This course information is for students studying under a new course structure. Switch to old course structure information.



Unit Code
Unit Title
LAW407 Mooting
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW422 Evidence
LAW423 Criminal and Civil Procedure
LAW450 Equity
LAW451 Civil Procedure
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW452 Legal Ethics
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW453 Legal Theory
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW454 Remedies
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW455 Mooting
LAW602 Foundations of Media and Information Technology Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW603 Labour Law
LAW604 Competition Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW606 Law of the Oceans and the Antarctic
LAW607 Corporations Law 2
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW608 Law of Nations
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW609 Comparative Administrative Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW610 International Environmental Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW612 Jurisprudence
LAW615 Criminology
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW617 Comparative Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW619 Biotechnology Law
LAW622 Law Elective 4 (Concepts of Property)
LAW623 International Humanitarian Law
LAW624 Dispute Resolution
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW625 Law Review
LAW626 Sports Law
LAW627 Parliamentary Law and Practice
LAW628 Advocacy
LAW631 International Law
LAW634 Human Rights
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW636 Law of the European Union
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW637 Jessup Moot
LAW638 Criminology
LAW639 Current Issues in Environmental Law
LAW640 Dispute Resolution
LAW641 Environmental Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW652 Media Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW662 Tax 1
LAW663 International Trade Law
LAW664 Intellectual Property
LAW669 Consumer Protection
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW670 Information Technology Law
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW677 Law Elective 2 (International Criminal Law)
LAW678 Law Elective 3 (Comparative Family Law)
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW679 Supervised Research Paper
LAW681 Family 1 - the Family and the Child
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW682 Family 2 - Financial Aspects of Family Law
LAW683 Succession
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW684 Conflicts (Private International Law)
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW688 Sentencing
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW692 Jessup Moot
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW693 Law Elective 1 (Transitional Governance)
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW695 Law and Ethics of Health Care
(Not Offered 2013)
LAW696 Professional Conduct

2014 LAW623 International Humanitarian Law

Unit Level: Advanced

Available as a Student Elective: Yes

View timetable of lectures only for this unit.  View ALL timetable events for this unit.

SPECIAL NOTE: Spring school unit - pre-reading in December, with classes commencing in January. Note that census date for this unit is 31 December 2013.

Not Offered


International Law purports to regulate military force in two key ways. The first we refer to as the jus ad bellum - the legal regulation of the circumstances in which resort to military force is justified. The heated public debate about whether or not Australia was legally justified in joining the US and the UK in invading Iraq in 2003 is a classic example of the interpretation and application of this area of International Law. The key treaty here is the UN Charter with its general prohibition on resort to military force and its principal exceptions in Chapter VII - UN Security Council authorisation of resort to force and the right of self-defence.

The second area of International Law we refer to as the jus in bello, International Humanitarian Law, the Law of War or the Law of Armed Conflict (all basically synonymous terms). Here International Law purports to regulate the actual conduct of military hostilities insisting upon a distinction between combatants and civilians, imposing limits on the targeting of military objectives, prohibiting the use of particular weapons and establishing minimum standards of treatment for prisoners of war and civilians affected by armed conflict.

The focus of this course is the second area involving International Law and the regulation of military force. Some would argue that war, of all human activity, is no place for law - or that any notion that law might regulate military conduct is naive and deluded. The International Committee of the Red Cross, with its multilateral treaty mandate as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions, profoundly disagrees with such scepticism arguing that law can indeed moderate the conduct of military hostilities. If there were no rules in war, military hospitals would be bombed all the time instead of only some of the time! There is no question that the relatively recent sharp increase in war crimes trials around the world has led inexorably to a surge in awareness of International Humanitarian Law and, some would argue, increased respect for this body of law. Allegations of Israeli war crimes in Gaza or Sri Lankan Government war crimes on the Jaffna Peninsula are but some of the recent high-profile examples of media fascination with International Humanitarian Law.

WEIGHT: 12.5%


2000 word written assignment (30%); two hour open book examination (70%).


To be taught intensively in spring-summer period. Pre-reading required in December, with classes commencing in January.

Note: Class attendance may still be required

   Web supported - H
Online access to some part of this unit online is optional
About Flexible Study Options

Prereq Either LAW631 AND LAW221,LAW222,LAW223,LAW224,LAW225,LAW226 LAW204,LAW205 OR LAW631 AND LAW250,LAW251 LAW252,LAW253,LAW254,LAW255,LAW256,LAW204

STAFF: Prof T McCormack

View fees for this unit


Units are offered in attending mode unless otherwise indicated (that is attendance is required at the campus identified). A unit identified as offered by distance, that is there is no requirement for attendance, is identified with a nominal enrolment campus. A unit offered to both attending students and by distance from the same campus is identified as having both modes of study.

Campus - H Hobart, L Launceston, W Burnie. Study Centre - V Sydney, R Rozelle, P Beauty Point. Distance units may also have a campus identifier of I Isolated, N Interstate, O Overseas. Units delivered in Transnational Education (TNE) Programs have a campus identifier of A Hangzhou, F Fuzhou, G Shanghai, K KDU Malaysia, Q Kuwait or Y Hong Kong.

Special approval is required for enrolment into TNE Program units - campuses A, F, G, K, Q and Y click here for more information.

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