Curriculum Guide · Courses
Law of War Seminar
J.D. Seminar 936 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
This seminar surveys the law of armed conflict and customary international law as applied on today’s battlefields. Is there really law in combat? What constitutes a “battlefield”? When does the law of war apply? Does it apply to non-State actors? What is a war crime, and who decides? Was Nagasaki a war crime? How is proportionality determined? What is the difference between a combatant, a terrorist, and a criminal? Is torture ever lawful? Is targeted killing lawful and how do we know? What constitutes a cyber attack? What is the jurisdiction of military commissions and why is that a difficult question for Guantanamo? Are superior orders a defense to war crime charges? Can a superior’s order constitute a defense to war crime charges? Is indefinite detention lawful? Such questions are the subject of the seminar.
Strongly Recommended: Completion of International Law I prior to enrollment in this seminar.
Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the International Law of Armed Conflict Seminar or War Crimes and Prosecutions.