• Class Number 4612
  • Term Code 3350
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Katherine Fallah
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 06/09/2023
  • Class End Date 25/10/2023
  • Census Date 15/09/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 07/09/2023
SELT Survey Results

International Humanitarian Law is an area of international law that 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 of long standing. 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 that have emerged as a result of the application and interpretation of IHL in recent conflicts. This course thus aims to provide a coherent introduction to historical, traditional, and contemporary aspects of international humanitarian law.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a sound appreciation of the historical basis for the development of the law in the field;
  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of international law as it applies in the area of international humanitarian law with a specialised knowledge of the relevant international conventions and treaties, especially the four Geneva Conventions and two Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions;
  3. Demonstrate an advanced and integrated understanding of the application of international humanitarian law to the actions of military forces and the impact of the law upon the protection of civilian populations in specific contexts; and
  4. Plan and execute complex legal research in order to construct an in-depth, critical analysis of contemporary issues which have arisen in the application and interpretation of international humanitarian law.

Required Resources

Prescribed Text: Emily Crawford and Alison Pert, International Humanitarian Law (Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 2020).

A full list of readings/E brick will also be made available on Wattle two weeks prior to the course commencement date.

Whether you are on campus or studying online, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

Extensions, late submission and penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Word length and excess word penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Further information about the course: is available from the course Wattle page. Students are required to access the Wattle site regularly throughout the course for any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
  • Introduction to IHL
  • Protected Persons (Part 1)
  • Classification of Conflicts and Applicable Law
Due to the sensitive nature of the topics covered in this course, classes will NOT be recorded. Students are expected to attend all classes live online.
  • Protected Persons (Part 2)
  • 'Unlawful Combatancy' and Doubtful Prisoner of War Status
  • Privatisation of Military Force
  • IHL Enforcement, Compliance and 'Restraint in War'
  • Case Study: Torture in the 'War on Terror'
  • IHL Lawyers and Professional Ethics
  • Conduct of Hostilities
  • 'Humanitarianism' and Violence in IHL
  • First Nations Laws of War
  • The Means of Warfare: Weapons
  • Gender Perspectives on IHL
  • Contemporary Issues in IHL
  • International Legal Research Workshop
The international legal research workshop is designed to support students in their preparation for AT2 and AT3.

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10 % * 20/09/2023 1,2,3
Research Outline 5 % 21/09/2023 26/09/2023 1,2,3,4
Research Essay 85 % 25/10/2023 17/11/2023 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the program. Students are expected to attend all classes.

If circumstances arise which are beyond a student’s control and they are unable to attend a class, the student should contact the Course Convenor in advance (where possible), so that the convenor can adjust their expectations in relation to numbers for that class. If it is not possible to give advance notice, students should send the convenor an email as soon as possible with evidence to support the reason for failure to attend. 


There is no final examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 20/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Class Participation

Details of Task: Given the importance of interactive learning for this course, you will be awarded a mark for your contributions to class discussion and group activities throughout the course. This component of assessment requires active participation in all classes, and adequate attendance will only go towards a pass for participation. Marks will be based on the quality, not quantity, of your contributions. You will be rewarded for oral contributions that demonstrate you have read the materials and reflected on the issues raised. You will also be rewarded for thoughtful contributions to problem-solving exercises based on hypothetical scenarios.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to participate will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.

Weighting: 10%

Estimated Return Date: 20 September 2023

Assessment Criteria:

  • Familiarity with and understanding of content;
  • Quality of observations and interventions;
  • Formulation of relevant legal arguments and reaching defensible conclusions;
  • Critical evaluation of legal doctrine;
  • Contribution to shared student learning;
  • Contribution to learning environment; and
  • Observation of class etiquette.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 21/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 26/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Outline

Details of Task: Students are to submit a short research outline in preparation for the major research essay (AT3). This is an opportunity for students to receive formative feedback. Full assessment instructions will be provided in the first week of teaching.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.

Weighting: 5%

Word Limit: 400 words. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here.

Submission Requirements: Footnotes should be used for the referencing of all sources. All references should be compliant with the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Your submission must be made in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files will not be accepted.

Due Date: 5pm, 21 September 2023. Due to the nature of the task, late submission or extension is not permitted.

Estimated Return Date: 26 September 2023.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Demonstrates a foundational understanding of key questions of legal doctrine relating to the essay topic;
  • Sets out a clear argument that answers the essay question and offers scope for critical analysis;
  • Proposes a logical structure that is capable of supporting the argument;
  • Demonstrates independent preliminary research into the essay topic by selecting appropriate, scholarly materials (such as journal articles or book chapters) for inclusion in a preliminary bibliography; and
  • Properly references sources in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 85 %
Due Date: 25/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 17/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research Essay

Details of Task: Students are to submit a major research essay, building on the research outline prepared for AT2. Full assessment instructions will be provided in the first week of teaching.

Nature of Task: Compulsory and non-redeemable. Failure to submit this assessment will result in a mark of zero for this assessment task.

Weighting: 85%

Word Limit: 6,000 words. The ANU College of Law's Word Length and Excess Word penalties policy can be found here.

Submission Requirements: Footnotes should be used for the referencing of all sources. All references should be compliant with the current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. Your submission must be made in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files will not be accepted.

Due Date: 5pm, 25 October 2023. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply.

Estimated Return Date: 17 November 2023

Assessment Criteria:

  • Builds and sustains a clear argument in answer to the research question;
  • Accurately identifies and describes the relevant law, referring to relevant treaties and case law;
  • Demonstrates a capacity for critical analysis of the law, engaging with the themes of the course;
  • Adopts a clear structure and provides examples to illustrate key points;
  • Demonstrates independent research and refers to appropriate scholarly materials;
  • Incorporates any feedback offered in respect of initial research outline (AT2); and
  • Properly references sources in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.
  • Late submission is not accepted for tests or examinations.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been granted an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time will be provided in writing. Importantly, any revised due date is inclusive of weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date will be penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the task per 24-hour period. 

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Katherine Fallah

Research Interests

Dr Katherine Fallah

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions