The Law of Armed Conflict – JURI 670

CG • Section • 12/17/2019 to 05/25/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is a study of the historical origins and development of norms regarding the law of armed conflicts. The course focuses on the norms of customary international law and the positive law norms, such as the Geneva Conventions and Protocols on the law of war.




The purpose of this course is to examine selected legal and moral doctrines related to international law of armed conflict, to include the Geneva Conventions of 1949 as well as other treaties and customary rules. It is important for the student to take this course so that he/she can become an informed policy maker, decision maker, and leader able to impact the most controversial topics such as massacres, killing of innocents, destruction of protected targets, the targeting of certain groups based on their religious or ethnic base, and the use of modern tactics (such as drones) in either a tactical or a strategic function.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze the legal and moral doctrines related to the international law of armed conflict.
  2. Evaluate the historical evolution of laws and events related to the conduct of war and appraise the primary sources of the law of armed conflict.
  3. Differentiate the legal obligations and requirements of an occupying power.
  4. Appraise the practical application of the law of armed conflict in the contemporary environment.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (8)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words.

Case Briefs (2)

The student will write 2 case briefs of U.S. Supreme Court cases following the IRAC format. Each case brief must be 500–1,000 words.

Research Paper

The student will write a 10-page research-based paper in current Bluebook format that focuses on whether the existing laws of armed conflict are adequate in light of current issues such as terrorism, detention, civilians taking a direct part in hostilities, cyber operations, and targeting in non-international armed conflicts. The paper must include at least 5 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The Research Paper will be completed in the following stages:

Annotated Bibliography

The student will submit his or her intended sources in an annotated bibliography in current Bluebook format. The annotated bibliography must contain at least 5 sources, and each annotation must be at least 150 words.


The student will submit an outline of the major points to be addressed in the paper. The outline must include a title page, a thesis page, initial research showing the body or major points to be made, a conclusion of at least 3 sentences, and a references page.


The student will submit the final paper in current Bluebook format. The paper must total 2500 words (not including the title page, thesis page, and references page). Note: LL.M. students must add an additional 2500 words of writing in their final paper. This is a Pass/Fail component of this assignment. This is not required of the JM students.