International Humanitarian Law

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Provider Université catholique de Louvain
Platform edX
Weeks 12
Hours 120


Learn how international law regulates armed conflicts, protects individuals in wartime, and guarantees minimum compliance.

Armed conflicts have always existed around the world. Unfortunately, recent events have shown that this phenomenon is becoming increasingly complex, especially with respect to some legal issues, such as:

– The definition of combatants when terrorists are involved in the hostilities.
– The detention by rebels of State armed forces.
– The involvement and status of UN peacekeepers in armed conflicts.

This course will help you understand these complex legal issues by teaching you the norms governing armed conflicts, also known as ‘International Humanitarian Law’ (‘IHL’).We will address these issues in light of recent practice, including the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda in different regions of the world, as well as other recent and older conflicts, such as those in Armenia, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, and the Israeli-Palestinian one.

The course will provide essential theoretical and practical knowledge for students, researchers and academics who wish to specialize in International Humanitarian Law as well as professionals, including members of NGOs, involved in armed conflict situations, or even members of armed forces.

In this course, you can choose between an audit (free) track and a verified track ($150 fee).

The audit track

  • Proposes a general approach to International Humanitarian Law (it’s a master level law course so learners with poor knowledge on this subject may have to work harder to understand the materials).
  • Assesses your mastery of the relevant concepts through multiple choice questions that avoid complex and controversial issues.
  • Implies a workload of about 4-7 hours/chapter

The verified track

  • Offers a deeper and more complex learning experience: detailed considerations and developments on controversial issues, additional videos and readings.
  • Assesses your mastery of complex and controversial issues through more complex MCQ, case studies and peer review assignments.
  • Offers a staff graded final exam.
  • Implies a workload of about 8-12 hours/chapter.
  • Delivers a verified certificate (in case of passing final grade) and allows you to pursue the International Law MicroMasters credentials.

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