• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Humanities
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Development Studies, History, Museums and Collections

International Humanitarian Law is an area of international law which appears to have undergone a revival in recent years. However, the basic principles of international humanitarian law and the founding conventions in the field are longstanding. Any course in the area therefore requires an historical appreciation of the topic, a thorough understanding of the relevant international conventions - especially the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols - mixed with a contemporary understanding of some of the current issues which have arisen. This course aims to provide that mix between the historical, traditional, and contemporary aspects of international humanitarian law.

Topics covered in the course may include:

- the historical evolution of international legal norms
the principles determining the rules applicable in different conflict situations

- the relationship between human rights and humanitarian law norms

- the role of the ICRC in general, as well as in specific conflicts

- enforcement of international humanitarian law; the Security Council and international war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia

- new directions, including the challenges posed by international terrorist activities, and the emergence of new weapons.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. appreciate the historical basis for the development of the law in the field;
  2. understand the relevant international conventions and treaties, especially the four Geneva Conventions and two Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions;
  3. appreciate some of the contemporary issues which have arisen in the application of international humanitarian law in recent conflicts such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya; and
  4. understand the application of international humanitarian law to the actions of military forces and the impact of the law upon civilian populations.

Other Information

Please note for 2015 the intensive classes will be taught on:
  • May 14
  • May 15
  • May 18
  • May 19

Indicative Assessment

Take-home examination, 50% (LO 1-4)
Written essay, 3,000 words, 50% (LO 1-4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


26 Contact Hours (Intensive Delivery). Students are expected to commit a further 104 hours of independent study (total 130 hours).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (MAAPD). You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LAWS8268.

Prescribed Texts

Yoram Dinstein (2010) The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1521 01 Apr 2015 24 Apr 2015 24 Apr 2015 30 Jun 2015 In Person N/A

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