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POLSC412: International Law

Unit 4: The Laws of War   Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit will take you approximately 12 hours to complete. 

☐    Subunit 4.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 5 hours 

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Explain limitations on lawful deployment of military forces and the use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. - Identify political, ethical, and legal issues incident to the use of military forces for self-defense, counter-attacks, and preemptive strikes. - Identify and analyze ethical issues that may arise in the deployment of military forces and the use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

4.1 International Laws Pertaining to Land Warfare   In this unit, you will learn how laws pertaining to land warfare have evolved over several centuries.  Originally, laws pertaining to war were limited to preserving the spoils for victors, but over time, rules pertaining to the exchange of prisoners of war, as well as the treatment of combatants and non-combatants, were developed.

  • Reading: The Saylor Foundation: Sharon Jumper’s “The Evolution of the Laws of War” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Sharon Jumper’s “The Evolution of the Laws of War” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article, which explains how laws relating to warfare have evolved over several centuries.
     
    Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the kind permission of Dr. Sharon Jumper.  Please note that this material is under copyright and cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission from the copyright holder.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Adam Roberts’ “The Equal Application of the Laws of War: A Principle Under Pressure” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Adam Roberts’ “The Equal Application of the Laws of War: A Principle Under Pressure” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link titled “Video” in the middle of the page.  Please watch the video presentation (43 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

4.2 Preemptive War and Self-Defense Under International Law   In this unit, you will study the concepts of self-defense and preemptive war under international law.

  • Reading: Globe Law: Duncan E. J. Currie’s “‘Preventive War’ and International Law After Iraq” Link: Globe Law: Duncan E. J. Currie’s “'Preventive War’ and International Law After Iraq” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article, which discusses the doctrines of preemption and self-defense under international law.  You may also download a PDF version of the article from the above linked page.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: Strategic Studies Institute: Dr. Colin S. Gray’s “The Implications of Preemptive and Preventive War Doctrines: A Reconsideration” Link: Strategic Studies Institute: Dr. Colin S. Gray’s “The Implications of Preemptive and Preventive War Doctrines: A Reconsideration” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page, then download and read the article, which discusses the doctrines of preemption and self-defense under international law.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

4.3 Weapons of Mass Destruction and International Law   In this unit, you will study how international law has attempted to regulate the proliferation and use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

  • Reading: American Society of International Law: David P. Fidler’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction and International Law” Link: American Society of International Law: David P. Fidler’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction and International Law” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article, which discusses legal efforts by the UN and others to restrict the proliferation and use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Reading: The United Nations: Jayantha Dhanapala’s “International Law, Security, and Weapons of Mass Destruction” Link: The United Nations: Jayantha Dhanapala’s “International Law, Security, and Weapons of Mass Destruction” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please go to the linked page and read the article, which discusses the effectiveness of legal efforts by the UN and others to restrict the proliferation and use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Mahasiko Asada’s “Nuclear Weapons and International Law (Part I) and (Part II): Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Mahasiko Asada’s “Nuclear Weapons and International Law (Part I) and (Part II): Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the video presentations (33 and 35 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Santiago Oñate Laborde’s “The Chemical Weapons Convention: An Overview” Link: The United Nations’ Audiovisual Library of International Law: Santiago Oñate Laborde’s “The Chemical Weapons Convention: An Overview” (RealPlayer Video)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the video presentation (58 mins.).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.