• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law, International Affairs, International Security
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Akshaya Kamalnath
    • William Boothby
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Winter Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

When normal peacetime relations between States break down and they resort to the use of force, it is the law of armed conflict that determines which acts of hostility are lawful. The idea that law should regulate what is done in war may seem strange but is well accepted. Accordingly, the law determines which targets may be attacked and which classes of person and object must be protected. Some persons and objects are specially protected, and it is vitally important that all involved understand what these rules provide.

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that hostilities undertaken by members of the Australian Defence Force are conducted in accordance with applicable legal rules. Students who have completed this course will develop an informed view of whether events, involving ADF personnel and otherwise, accord with the relevant law.

Other topic of similar importance are the principles and rules that determine which weapons and methods of warfare can lawfully be used during an armed conflict. Weapons law places important obligations on States, and the course will show how to comply with these. In connection with targeting and weaponry, the course will unpack the principles on which these elements of the law are based.


Dr Bill Boothby, an internationally renowned humanitarian law and weapons law scholar who has written authoritative monographs on both subjects will teach the course.


It will consist of a series of lectures and workgroups to discuss and solve pre-set problems. The solutions of each work group will then be presented in plenary and discussed. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Interpret and evaluate various international law rules that regulate the conduct of hostilities and that determine which weapons may lawfully be used in an armed conflict.
  2. Critically analyse a range of hypothetical targeting and weapons law scenarios.
  3. Critically analyse and evaluate international law issues arising from the conduct of hostilities and from the possession and use of weapons.
  4. Plan and execute complex legal research, producing original scholarship exploring legal issues arising in the targeting and weapons law contexts.
  5. Synthesise legal materials into a concise and cohesive argument that address the Law of Weaponry and Targeting.

Other Information

N/A

Indicative Assessment

  1. The proposed means of assessment for this course will provide students with at least two pieces of assessment, including one piece during the semester. More information about the means of assessment, including the relationship between the assessment and the learning outcomes of the course, will be available in the Class Summary and on the course WATTLE page.  (100) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.

Workload

  • Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught semi-intensively with compulsory contact hours of 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 three contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course. 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.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a; Master of Laws (MLLM) and have completed or be completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions; or Graduate Certificate of Law (CLAW) and have completed or be completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions; or Graduate Certificate of New Technologies Law (CNTL); or Juris Doctor (MJD) and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses; or Master of International Law & Diplomacy (MINLD) and have completed or be completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions. Students undertaking any ANU graduate program may apply for this course. Enrolments are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the ANU College of Law for appropriate permission.

Prescribed Texts

Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when finalised.

Preliminary Reading

Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. 

Assumed Knowledge

N/A

Fees

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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
34
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4980
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
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.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6504 09 Sep 2024 27 Sep 2024 27 Sep 2024 15 Nov 2024 Online N/A

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