UCL FACULTY OF LAWS

LLM Programme

The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.


WAR LAW (LAWSG056)
Credit value: 30 credits (12 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Dr Kimberley Trapp Other Teachers: N/A
Content

Summary:

This module surveys the regulation of the use of force in international law. It is structured in two parts, the first of which (056A) deals with recourse to force in international law, or the jus ad bellum. This first part covers the regulation of recourse to force between States, and focuses principally on the United Nations Charter and subsequent developments. We will begin with a broad strokes historical overview, and then consider self-defence, the ‘war on terror’, enforcement measures taken by the UN, unilateral recourses to force and their legality, as well as ‘humanitarian’ intervention.

The second part of the module (056B) deals with the law that is applicable during an armed conflict, or the jus in bello (often referred to as ‘International Humanitarian Law’). We will explore the distinction between international/non-international armed conflicts; combatants/civilians/‘unlawful combatants’; and military and civilian objectives; and consider the applicability/application of weapons regimes (for example the Non-Proliferation Treaty).

Syllabus:

Part I (Jus ad Bellum)

  • From ‘Just War’ to the UN Charter Prohibition of the Use of Force (and back?)
  • Use of Force in Self-Defence I: The Armed Attack
  • Use of Force in Self-Defence II: Temporal Element
  • The ‘War on Terror’
  • Collective Action against Threats to the Peace I: Non-forcible Measures
  • Collective Action against Threats to the Peace II: Enforcement Action & Judging the Security Council
  • Humanitarian Intervention (and R2P)
  • State (and individual?) responsibility for violations of the jus ad bellum

Part II (Jus in Bello)

  • Introduction to the Law of Armed Conflict: General Concepts and History
  • Classification of Armed Conflicts and Commencement/Termination of Hostilities
  • Status Based Rules: Combatants and PoWs
  • Rules Governing Hostilities I: Military Objectives and the Principle of Distinction
  • Rules Governing Hostilities II: Civilians and the Principle of Proportionality
  • Non-International Armed Conflicts
  • Weaponry
  • Protection of cultural property in Armed Conflict

Background Reading (optional):

Students who have not taken any general module in Public International Law before are strongly advised to read a general textbook in advance of commencing the course. A concise and elegant textbook is Vaughan Lowe, International Law (Oxford UP 2007).

Other students who wish to read in advance can also consult Lowe, above, Chapters 3 and 8. A perusal of the Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, issued by the UK Ministry of Defence and published by Oxford UP (2004) is also highly interesting and will give students a flavour of the practice of the law of armed conflict.

Module reading lists and other module materials will be provided via online module pages, once students have made their module selections upon enrolment in September.

Delivery and enrolment
Lectures/Seminars: 20 x 2-hour seminars
Tutorials: None
Previous module enrolments: Medium – 16-50 students
Who may enrol: LLM students
Prerequisities: None

Barred module combinations:

This module cannot be taken with its components:
War Law I: Recourse to Force in International Law - LAWSG056A
War Law II: International Law of Armed Conflict - LAWSG056B

Core Module for LLM specialism: International Law
Assessment
Final Assessment: 3-hour unseen written examination
Practice Assessment: Students may write up past exam questions and submit them for feedback as a form of formative assessment / exam practice.

This page was last updated on 8 July, 2014

APPLICATION NOTICES

The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.

Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014

The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.

The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.