SMNR: Law of Armed Conflict

Class Unique: 30130
This seminar explores the law of armed conflict -- aka the laws of war, international humanitarian law (IHL) -- from the perspective of members of the armed services. That is to say, it is a course in "operational law" as that phrase is used in the training of Judge Advocates General (JAGs) in the U.S. military. We will use a conventional casebook towards this end--a new one co-authored by a number of JAGs-turned-law-professor. It uses a model armed-conflict scenario based loosely on the facts associated with the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989 in order to walk the class through a sequence of issues including: the legality of resorting to force in the first place, the origins and evolution of the law of armed conflict (LOAC), the test for determining the applicability of LOAC, the distinction among combatants and civilians, the rules of targeting, the regulation of weapons, the treatment of the wounded and sick, the treatment of civilians, the use of detention, occupation of foreign territory and termination of conflict, naval warfare and neutrality, war crimes, command responsibility, and compliance mechanisms. Supplementing the casebook, each week one or more students in the class will be tasked with identifying current events relating to that week's subject, and leading a brief class discussion of how those events relate to that subject. Grading will depend on quality of participation in class, including but not limited to the current-events presentation, and a substantial research paper. No prior coursework is required. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Tuesday 3:45 - 5:35 pm JON 6.206
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type


  • The Law of Armed Conflict: An Operational Approach - Corn, Hansen, Jackson, Jenks, Jensen, and Schoettler
      Aspen , edition: 1st
      ISBN: 978-1-4548-0690-5   (required)