Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.
Basic understanding of public international law and / or the sociological aspects of armed conflicts and justice. Participants should read the required literature before class.
This course intends to provide basic knowledge of international humanitarian law (IHL) and fundamental aspects of international criminal law (ICL) in the context of past conflicts, including the conflicts in Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sudan and with reference to the functioning of international courts such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Objectives of the course
This course will focus on and provide basic knowledge of:
the development of IHL and its present relevance
the protection of human beings in international and non-international conflicts
international terrorism and IHL-rules
the criminal prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity
Participants will understand the system of international humanitarian law, the interpretation of IHL treaties and identification of customary IHL-law and the interdependence between IHL and ICL.
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:
Students will understand the system and basic principles of international humanitarian law (IHL), the interpretation of IHL treaties and identification of customary IHL and the interdependence between IHL and ICL.
Students will be able to discuss and identify the relevant rules of IHL, to discuss them by reference to relevant case law and authority, and apply to them to a case.
Students will be able to analyze and discuss existing conflicts and news reports by reference to the applicable rules of IHL.
Mode of instruction
Number of (4 hour) seminars: 5
Names of instructors: Prof. Dr. H. Fischer and guest lecturers
Required preparation by students:
Other methods of instruction
- Written exam (English)
Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course and the subjects taught in the lectures.
More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.
Obligatory course materials
F. Kalshoven, L. Zegveld, Constraints on the Waging of War; An Introduction to International Humanitarian Law, 4th edition, ICRC, Geneva, 2011
Additional literature and case law (Blackboard)
H. Fischer, International Humanitarian Law; Course Reader 2010-2011; Treaty Texts and Excerpts (Blackboard).
Course information guide:
Course outline; available on Blackboard
Recommended course materials
Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.
Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.
Co-ordinator: S.H. Starrenburg
Work address: Steenschuur 25, Leiden
Telephone number: 071-527 4103 or 071- 527 7578 (secretary)
Institution: Public Law
Division: Public International Law
Room number secretariat: B1.21
Opening hours: 9.00-17.00 hrs
Telephone number secretariat: 071-527 7578
Anyone interested in registering for this course as part of a Contractual Programme (Contractonderwijs), which includes examination, will find further information regarding costs, application and registration, conditions etc. on the website of Juridisch PAO (Legal postgraduate education).