The Law of Armed Conflict – JURI 670

CG • Section 8WK • 12/17/2019 to 05/25/2020 • Modified 08/28/2023

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


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.

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (8)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge through at least 3 scholarly citations. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words and incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation.

Case Brief Assignments (2)

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

Research Paper Assignment

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:

Research Paper: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

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.

Research Paper: Outline Assignment

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.

Research Paper: Final Assignment

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.