A Study of One Armed Conflict

1.   Case Study: The conflicts in the former Yugoslavia

[See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia]

2.   Case Study: Genocide, Refugees and Armed Conflicts in the Great Lakes Region in Africa

[See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the Great Lakes Region]

3.   Case Study: Armed Conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea

[See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea]

4.   Theoretical course and study of an armed conflict

The teacher presents the basics during the first four meetings. During the following six meetings (Nos 5 to 10), the students present their solutions to practical issues relating to humanitarian law that arose during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia [See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia], which the teacher subsequently comments on and puts into perspective. Meetings Nos 11 and 12 cover the implementation of IHL, other IHL-related matters, review and the course evaluation.
The oral presentation (10 minutes maximum per person) counts for 20 per cent of each person’s grade, while the written presentation (of 5-10 pages, due one week after the oral) counts for 30 per cent.
A final written exam (during which students are allowed to consult the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols) make up the remaining 50 per cent of each person’s grade. The exam consists of 12 questions on subjects discussed in class: four questions testing theoretical knowledge, four essay-type questions, and four fictional cases (similar to the practical cases discussed in the course, but shorter) to be resolved.
It is imperative that students read the theoretical part of the introductory texts (Part I of How Does Law Protect in War?) before each meeting and the practical part of the case study on a given meeting’s topic.

PROGRAMME

[The figures in brackets refer to the relevant chapters of Part I.] 

Meeting No. 1:

  • Presentation of the course and subject matter
  • Choice of format for the course
  • Presentation of the method of assessment
  • Beginning of teacher’s introduction
    • Existence of international law
    • Notion, objectives and problems of IHL [Ch. 1]
    • IHL, a branch of public international law [Ch. 2.I]

Meeting No. 2:

  • IHL, a branch of public international law
    • Fundamental distinction between jus ad bellum (the legality of resorting to force) and jus in bello (humanitarian rules to be respected in warfare) [Ch. 2.II]
    • IHL: a branch of international law governing the conduct of States and individuals [Ch. 2.III]
  • Historical development of IHL [Ch. 3]
  • Sources of contemporary IHL [Ch. 4]

Meeting No. 3:

  • Fundamental distinction between civilians and combatants [Ch. 5]
  • Combatants and prisoners of war [Ch. 6]
  • Protection of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked [Ch. 7]

Meeting No. 4:

  • Protection of civilians [Ch. 8]
  • Conduct of hostilities [Ch. 9]
  • Law of non-international armed conflict [Ch. 12]

Meeting No. 5:

Discussion of points 1-7 of the case study on the former Yugoslavia [See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia] (conflict breaks out; the conflict in Croatia)

Meeting No. 6:

Discussion of points 8-13 of the case study on the former Yugoslavia [See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia] (the repatriation of prisoners between Croatia and Yugoslavia; the conflict in Bosnia; “ethnic cleansing”; the prisoners; the siege of Sarajevo)

Meeting No. 7:

Discussion of points 14-18 of the case study on the former Yugoslavia [See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia] (security zones; the conflict between Croats and Muslims; the enclave of Bihac; establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); prisoner exchanges)

Meeting No. 8:

Discussion of points 19-22 of the case study on the former Yugoslavia [See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia] (NATO airstrikes in Bosnia; the Srebrenica massacre; the Dayton Agreement; missing people)

Meeting No. 9:

Discussion of points 23-29 of the case study on the former Yugoslavia [See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia] (Kosovo, NATO airstrikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)

Meeting No. 10:

Discussion of points 30-37 of the case study on the former Yugoslavia [See Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia] (the expulsion of Albanians from Kosovo; Kosovo under international administration; Presevo; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)

Meeting No. 11:

Implementation of IHL [Ch. 13]

Meeting No. 12:

  • IHL and human rights law [Ch. 14]
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [Ch. 15]
  • Review, and evaluation of the material and course

Final written exam