Course Listing


International Humanitarian Law
Last Updated Date:   10 June 2022


5 Credits,  Semester 1

Course Description:
International Humanitarian law (IHL), also known as the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) is that part of Public International Law that establishes the principles for the conduct of hostilities during armed conflicts, regardless whether this occurs in a situation of warfare between states or between non-state actors. It determines the legality of means and methods of warfare and treatment of non-combatants such as prisoners-of-war, civilians and neutrals during armed conflicts. This course will examine the fundamental concepts of IHL and its development up to the present day. It seeks to enable a critical understanding of IHL by examining the factors that influenced its development and the manner it is practiced from ancient times to the present day. The recent Russia-Ukraine conflict will be featured as instances where IHL can be applied to determine the legality of military actions. Considerable emphasis will be placed on the various instruments which establishes present day rules of IHL. These include the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the various Geneva Conventions, the 1972 Biological Warfare Convention, the 1977 Geneva Protocols and subsequent IHL instruments such as the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, the 1996 Conventional Weapons Convention; the 1997 Landmines Convention the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. It will also examine the modalities for the enforcement of IHL such as domestic courts, international tribunals and focus particularly on the International Criminal Court. The course will consider the effectiveness of IHL as practised today in achieving its objective of a more humane conduct of warfare in the present day international political order.

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Course Convenor: Adjunct Prof Jeffrey Chan Wah Teck, S.C.

Co-teacher(s): NA

Module Codes: LL4251V / LL5251V / LL6251V / LLJ5251V

Contact Hours: 3 hr weekly seminars

Workload: 3 hour

Mode of Assessment: Class Participation - 25%; Class Presentation - 25% & 6-hr Take Home Exam - 50% [Release: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 (4pm); Due: Thu, 17 Nov 2022 (10pm)]

Preclusions: Nil

Prerequisites: NUS Compulsory Core Law Curriculum or common law equivalent. This module complements the Public International Law (PIL) module and those who have not completed the PIL module are strongly urged to acquaint themselves with the fundamentals of PIL before embarking on this module. Additionally, all participants should have an interest in current affairs and continuously keep abreast of international developments.

Examination Date: Different Mode of Examination

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