War might be the “end of the law” as one said, but International Law is not silent vis-à-vis armed conflicts. From its conception in 1859 on the battlefield of Solferino to contemporary warfare, modern International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has been confronted with significant challenges. Since the times of horses and bayonets to drones and other ‘Lethal Autonomous Weapons System’ (the so-called “killer robots”), IHL has always had the purpose of regulating the means and methods of warfare in order to limit human suffering. The development and sophistication of weapons has made it paradoxically problematic to distinguish between civilians and combatants in order to better protect the former. In addition, the proliferation of non-international armed conflicts (civil wars) and the emergence of new forms of armed conflicts, i.e. the “war on terrorism”, pose new challenges to the protection of civilian persons and goods.
The course aims to provide participants with an advanced knowledge of IHL and to offer an innovative analysis of the legal uncertainties surrounding new-age military capabilities namely drones and other weaponry systems.
At the end of the course participants will be able to:
- Identify the principles and rules, sources and sanctions of International Humanitarian Law;
- Determine the scope of applicability of International Humanitarian Law with regard to the applicability of Human Rights Law and unconventional conflicts such as terrorism;
- Analyze the core principles guiding the means and methods of warfare and assess their efficacy regarding modern weapons namely drones and ‘killer robots’;
- Discuss the fundamental knowledge of protection granted to the victims of war, combatants and civilian persons and goods;
- Critically analyze how International Humanitarian Law overall responds to emerging challenges.
Module 1: Introduction to International Humanitarian Law: Principles, Sources and Sanctions
Module 2: Applicability of International Humanitarian Law: Scope of Applicability and Relationship with Human Rights Law
Module 3: The “Hague Law”: Conduct of Hostilities, Classical Regulations Meet New Means of Warfare: Drones, Killer Robots
Module 4: The “Geneva Law”: Protection of the Victims, Victims, Combatants, Protective Emblems and the Role of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
Depending on each module, there is a slight variation of the amount of study time required. As an average, participants are expected to devote approximately 10 hours per week to review the course content and to complete course assessment activities. Throughout the course, the course moderator will closely guide participants in their learning process and answer their questions. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion issued by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
The course targets civil servants, humanitarian and human rights NGO members, national relief society staff, national army members, and academics, researchers, and professionals interested in the work of the United Nations in this field.
Certificates: Participants who successfully complete all the course activities and assessments will receive a Certificate of Completion issued by UNITAR.
Technical Requirements: The course is delivered through UNITAR’s Virtual Learning Environment and participants will require a reliable internet connection throughout its duration. See full list of requirements.
Download the course brochure by clicking here.
* Please note that the course schedule could be changed if a minimum of enrolled participants is not achieved prior to the start of the course.