The course looks at the rules, concepts, principles, institutional architecture, and enforcement of what we call international criminal law or international criminal justice, or, sometimes, the law of war crimes.
The focus of the course is the area of international criminal law concerned with traditional “war crimes” and, in particular, four of the core crimes set out in the Rome Statute (war crimes, torture as a crime against humanity, genocide and aggression). It adopts a historical, philosophical and practical focus throughout, though the course is mainly directed at the conceptual problems associated with the prosecution of war criminals and, more broadly, legalised retribution. Attention, in this respect, will be directed towards the moral and jurisprudential dilemmas associated with bureaucratic criminality and individual culpability.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate an advanced, specialised understanding of international law in the area of international criminal law and its basic principles, concepts and methodologies;
- Demonstrate familiarity with the sources and methods of research in the field of international criminal law;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of the concept of international crime, from piracy juris gentium to the drafting of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, as well as the law and procedure regulating the activities of the International Criminal Court;
- Demonstrate an ability to examine the role played by the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies in the development of international criminal law;
- Demonstrate an ability to examine the different international and national procedures for prosecuting or otherwise dealing with international crimes, and the political and legal determinants of those procedures as well as their enforcement;
- Assess the contribution made to the development of international criminal law by the Nuremberg and Tokyo International Military Tribunals, the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as national tribunals and so-called "mixed tribunals", considering the legal and political questions to which those proceedings give rise; and
- Plan and execute complex legal research with independence in order to produce original scholarship
- a review essay (2,000 words) and (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
- a major research essay (5,000 words). (70) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours. Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week.
Click here for the LLM Masters Program timetable.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsThere is no prescribed text though Simpson Law, War and Crime (2007) is recommended.
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
An e-brick will be available on the Wattle course site.
Assumed KnowledgeParticipants must have completed Principles of International Law (LAWS8182) or equivalent.
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.
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.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.