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Protection of Victims of War


Admission requirements



The course examines the substantive and procedural law that provides protection to war victims under International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law. The different approaches of each of these three branches of international law are examined, since Human Rights Law aims to grant victims rights, International Humanitarian Law focuses on the protection of victims during armed conflict and International Criminal Law allows for victim participation in a witness capacity or as a civil party.
Lectures are given once a week. Lectures addressparticular cases of war victims of particular conflict areas, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia and Rwanda. The case analysis aims to illustrate to what extent the three branches of international law interact.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
This course aims to provide an overview of the principles of International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and International Criminal from the perspective of war victims. The students will gain insight in the interaction between the three branches of international law.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:
Knowledge: After successfully completing this course, the student has a knowledge of and insight into the existing framework, fundaments and the system of International Humanitarian Law and its interaction with the other branches of Public International Law, in particular Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law. The student is well aware of the challenges that arise with regard to the practical implementation of International Humanitarian Law.
Academic skills and attitude:
After successfully completing this course, the student is able to interpret and analyze the relevant literature and sources in a critical manner and to present solutions for legal problems after thorough legal research.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (3 hour) lectures: 5 (once a week)

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. L. Zegveld, Catherine Harwood.

  • Required preparation by students: Mandatory literature and case law


Other methods of instruction

Assessment method

Examination form(s)
Written exam with questions. Since the mode of instruction is limited to lectures and the course topics are not dealt with in a comprehensive textbook, attendancy to all lectures is strongly recommended and deemed essential for successfully passing the written exam.

Submission procedures

Areas to be tested within the exam
Book and syllabus the subjects taught in the lectures, and all other instructions which are part of the course and made available, e.g. via Blackboard.


More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Constraints on the waging of war : an introduction to international humanitarian law, F. Kalshoven and L. Zegveld, 4th ed, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), 2011

  • Syllabus

Recommended course materials *made available via Blackboard


Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: Catherine Harwood

  • Work address: KOG, Office B 2.32

  • Contact information: Every day

  • Telephone number: 071-5277395

  • Email:


  • Institute: Public Law

  • Department: Public International Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG, B1.19

  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 17.00

  • Telephone number secretary: 071 – 527 7578

  • Email:




Belangstellenden die deze cursus in het kader van contractonderwijs willen volgen (met tentamen), kunnen meer informatie vinden over kosten, inschrijving, voorwaarden, etc. op de website van Juridisch PAO