International Humanitarian Law - R Murphy

Developed by Dr. Ray Murphy, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)

SEMINAR 1

Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Learning outcome:
To critically examine the concept and purpose of IHL or the Law of Armed Conflict.   
To familiarise students with basic concepts and the nature of IHL and its relationship to Public International Law. 
To familiarise students with the historical development and legal basis of IHL.
Customary rules of IHL. 
The Ius ad Bellum and Ius in Bello rules.

SEMINAR 2

Use of force under international law

Learning outcome:
To examine the law regulating the use of force in international law and its consequences. 
To analyse the interpretation and application of the UN Charter, Article 2, and Chapters VI, VII and VIII. 
To review international law principles governing the pre-emptive use of force; the responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention.

SEMINAR 3       

International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and International Criminal law.

Learning outcome: 
To familiarise student with the fields of application of all regimes, protected persons and implementation. 
To distinguish between genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

SEMINAR 4

Categorisation of Armed Conflicts – Types of Conflict and Thresholds of Applicability of IHL 

Learning outcome:
To distinguish between the legal regimes governing International and Non-International Armed Conflicts. 
To analyse and discuss Common Article 3 and Protocol II. 
Types of non-international armed conflict.
To explain and apply the criteria for the categorisation of conflict, and outline the legal and practical consequences in situations of armed conflict. 
Transnational conflicts and the war on terror.

SEMINAR 5

Non-International Armed Conflicts

Learning outcome: 
To identify the dynamics of non-international armed conflicts;
To examine the laws regulating the conduct of hostilities during non-international armed conflicts;
To review the difficulties and challenges in application of the laws and protection of victims during non-international armed conflicts.

SEMINAR 6  

Conduct of Hostilities

Learning outcome:
To distinguish between the Law of The Hague and the Law of Geneva. 
To analyse and explain the framework for the protection of the civilian population against the effects of hostilities, and the means and methods of warfare.
Prohibited attacks, definition of civilian population, military objectives and targets. 
The principles of distinction and proportionality. 
Hague Rules Arts 25-28; Draft Hague Rules on Aerial Warfare 1923 Arts 22-6; Geneva Civilians Convention 1949 Arts 13-26 and 27-34; and Protocol 1 1977 Arts 48-60.

SEMINAR 7

Case Studies  
Protection of Civilians: The NATO campaign in Kosovo and Russia in Chechnya.
The conduct of hostilities during the Israel/Hizbollah conflict 2006 and Gaza 2009.
Learning outcome:
To analyse and explain the legal regime governing the protection of civilians against effects of hostilities, and against arbitrary treatment. 
To identify the legal regime governing refugees and displaced persons under IHL. 
To be able to apply the rules of IHL to contemporary situations of conflict.

SEMINAR 8

War Crimes

Learning Outcome: 
To examine the concept of war crimes under IHL, and to analyse Article 8 of the ICC Statute and the elements of the crimes.

SEMINAR 9 

Combatants and Prisoners of War: Status and Treatment

Learning outcome: 
To explain the general criteria for determining combatant and POW status, and to outline the regulations governing the treatment of POW’s.

SEMINAR 10

Implementation of IHL and the Mechanisms of Justice

Learning Outcome:
To distinguish between the national and international means of implementing IHL and the role of the ICC, and the Ad Hoc Criminal Tribunals and special courts.

SEMINAR 11   

IHL and Peace Support Operations

Learning Outcome: 
To identify the relevance of IHL to United Nations and similar peace support operations. 
To assess the relevance of the Convention for the Protection of UN Personnel, and the Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Observance by UN forces of international humanitarian law. 
To analyse the implications of the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peacekeeping; the Report of the Rwanda Genocide and the Report of the Fall of Srebrenica. 
To examine the role of IHL in traditional peacekeeping in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and in peace enforcement in Somalia during the UNITAF and UNOSOM II operations. 
To analyse the application of IHL by and in failed states.

SEMINAR 12

The Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilians and the rules governing Occupied Territories

Learning Outcome: 
To distinguish between the different kinds of occupation under international humanitarian law, and the rights and responsibilities of the Occupying Power.
Case studies:
The Occupied Territories and the situation in Palestine and other recent situations of occupation.
Learning Outcome: 
To analyse the situation in the Occupied Territories, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan and Iraq and the relevance of IHL and the law applicable.