LL4A9      Half Unit
Law in War

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Patricia Palacios Zuloaga NAB6.34


This course is available on the MSc in Human Rights, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.


Some prior knowledge of international law is useful but not essential.

Course content

This course covers the law governing the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello, also known as the law of armed conflict (LOAC) or international humanitarian law (IHL)). This course can be taken alone or together with LL4A8: International Law and the Use of Force. The course will take a critical and historical perspective on the international regulation and facilitation of armed conflict. It covers both the laws governing the means and methods of warfare (sometimes known as 'Hague' law) and those regarding 'protected' groups hors de combat ('Geneva' law) in times of armed conflict and occupation. The course will further consider the practice of 'lawfare' more generally: that is, recourse to law as an aspect of waging war.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students have the option of submitting a 2,000 word essay. Students are requested to choose from past exam papers and submit by the end of week 3.

Indicative reading

Required text: Yoram Dinstein, The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of Armed Conflict (Cambridge, 2004).

Indicative reading: David Kennedy, Of Law and War, (Princeton, 2006); Geoffrey Best, War and Law Since 1945 (Clarendon Press, 1997); Roberts & Guelff, Documents on the Laws of War (Oxford, 2000).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: 6

Average class size 2012/13: 7

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills