International Humanitarian Law

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9/10 stars
based on  26 reviews
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Course Details

Cost

FREE,
Add a Verified Certificate for $150

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Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22640 reviews

Course Description

Armed conflicts have always existed all over the world. Unfortunately, recent events have shown that this phenomenon is becoming increasingly complex, especially with respect to certain legal issues, for instance relating to:

  • the definition of armed conflicts when foreign forces are fighting armed groups located in the territory of another State.
  • the definition of combatants when terrorists are involved in the hostilities.
  • the targeting of certain objects which are used for both military and civilian purposes.
  • the detention by rebels of State armed forces.
  • the involvement and status of UN peacekeepers involved in combat operations.
  • the application of the law of occupation to international organizations.

This law course will help you to understand these complex legal issues by teaching you basic norms governing armed conflicts, also known as ‘International Humanitarian Law’ (‘IHL’). This course provides essential ...

Armed conflicts have always existed all over the world. Unfortunately, recent events have shown that this phenomenon is becoming increasingly complex, especially with respect to certain legal issues, for instance relating to:

  • the definition of armed conflicts when foreign forces are fighting armed groups located in the territory of another State.
  • the definition of combatants when terrorists are involved in the hostilities.
  • the targeting of certain objects which are used for both military and civilian purposes.
  • the detention by rebels of State armed forces.
  • the involvement and status of UN peacekeepers involved in combat operations.
  • the application of the law of occupation to international organizations.

This law course will help you to understand these complex legal issues by teaching you basic norms governing armed conflicts, also known as ‘International Humanitarian Law’ (‘IHL’). This course provides essential theoretical and practical knowledge for students, researchers and academics who wish to specialize in this field. It is also dedicated to professionals, including members of NGOs, involved in armed conflict situations, or members of armed forces.

Starting with the sources and subjects of IHL, as well as its scope of application, the course will address the main substantive norms of IHL governing: the conduct of hostilities; the protection afforded to persons in the hands of the enemy; occupation; and implementation of IHL.

We will discuss questions such as:

  • who and what can be targeted by the enemy.
  • which weapons can be used.
  • which method of warfare is authorized.
  • who enjoys protection and what type of protection.
  • which norms apply in non international armed conflicts.

We will also deal with the different ways through which IHL can be implemented and how belligerents may be held accountable for violations of its rules when committing war crimes or crimes against humanity.

These critical issues will be addressed in light of recent practice, including the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda in different regions of the world, as well as other recent conflicts such as those occurring in Armenia, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, RDC, Syria, The Soudan, Ukraine or Yemen. Older ongoing conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian one, will also be addressed.

Reviews 9/10 stars
26 Reviews for International Humanitarian Law

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Joseph Martin profile image
Joseph Martin profile image

Joseph Martin

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 5 months ago
Not at all a course for the faint of heart, but very rewarding. This will be a legitimate study of law so be prepared to deal with very nit picky questions and some times dry obsession over minor details. It will definitely give you an indication of if you have what it takes to study law.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 completed
6 months, 1 week ago
Prepare yourself, this MOOC is not easy to pass. I have never been in a deep study of IHL This course should open to you many chances in your professional and academy career. I am grateful to know new themes of IHL that makes me a better paramedic in the Red Cross.
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Aline Henry profile image
Aline Henry profile image

Aline Henry

10/10 starsCompleted
6 months, 4 weeks ago
Among all the courses I had to study for law school, this has become my favourite course! The subject is really interesting and the teachers explain it really well: they take their time to present all the controversies and little details that help getting a better understanding of the subject. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of the MOOC and I'm now considering working in this field later.
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Michael Kwasi profile image
Michael Kwasi profile image

Michael Kwasi

10/10 starsTaking Now
7 months, 2 weeks ago
The course and it's content is very good I think should be congratulated, I thank the people who put together this program. Videos are clear but has a low sound if one is not using an ear phone. Thank you edx for the platform.
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Alba Ubieto Oliván profile image
Alba Ubieto Oliván profile image

Alba Ubieto Oliván

8/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 4 months ago
The content of this course is very complete and allows you to go through it autonomously. I would have appreciated more room for female teachers and IHL experts in this MOOC, especially in what refers to the interviews at the end of each chapter.
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Jenn Stephenson profile image
Jenn Stephenson profile image

Jenn Stephenson

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 4 months ago
I will never listen / look at the news (or history) in the same way since taking this course. I will use the lessons throughout my private and professional future. It is a wonderful thing when one is equipped with such extensive information in a well presented manner. Thank you all
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Liz Kennedy profile image
Liz Kennedy profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 5 months ago
This course is a very informative and very useful treatment of a very difficult topic. The course can be challenging. The course is up to date and relevant for any subject.
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O Morphy profile image
O Morphy profile image

O Morphy

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 5 months ago
The course in itself was a good one, very educative on the subject matter. However, it was a bit tricky with the instructor. While i may think it is first language interference it was not helpful. Use of terms sometimes got confusing to me. Particular reference is referring to the colonized as colonial. The questions got really frustrating sometimes, refer to final question 2.5., the key word is "must"; I feel that the best word to make it correct would have been "may" because then the sick and wounded may be repatriated if they are strong enough.Overall, the course was intensive and interesting.
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K Pous profile image
K Pous profile image

K Pous

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 5 months ago
Overall an intense but very rewarding course. Many thanks to the organisers. The course materials were very helpful and the first set of multiple choice questions were surprisingly tough. I feel much more equipped to deal with this area of law now that I have completed this course.
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Arnaud Gobert profile image
Arnaud Gobert profile image

Arnaud Gobert

8/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 5 months ago
Interesting course about an interesting branch of law. Still, i think this is a too theorical approach (probably what's expected about a MOOC) and thanksfully, interviews with "fields-mens" are counterbalancing this. I don't think, since I've followed the course in french years before, that this english version gives a plus-value about the course. But since it's an international course now, I think there is no choice about the language. And lastly ... I think this is a too "mainstream" theorical approach. Border is tiny between objective and subjective approach, especially in the international law ... and even more in international "humanitarian" law. Thats being said, thanks to instructors for all the job made.
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Michael Kwasi Abotsi profile image
Michael Kwasi Abotsi profile image

Michael Kwasi Abotsi

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 5 months ago
I love the content of the the course but I still have not received my final grade for the certificate. Can the instructor mark and give me the final grade. Everything else about this course is very helpful and good. I want my final grade.
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Emmanuel Kwesi Djangmah profile image
Emmanuel Kwesi Djangmah profile image

Emmanuel Kwesi Djangmah

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 6 months ago
this is my first time reading something so intensive as this. Has much depth and revealing. Has gotten the best platform so far for student access, it shows in my grades that i struggled heavily to get this far. hoping to get a certificate at the end to boost my CV
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Hélène Michou profile image
Hélène Michou profile image

Hélène Michou

8/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 6 months ago
Detailed and interesting course material which requires time and dedication to get through. The software platform is user-friendly and the different formats for the intermediate assessments force you to aplly aquired knowledge. The only thing I missed was more discussion of contemporary conflicts and how new technologies/contexts are forcing some of the basic premises of IHL to be questioned.
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Mark Du profile image
Mark Du profile image

Mark Du

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 8 months ago
I learned very much from this course and I highly recommend this to everyone, even to those without a law background. After taking this course, I have a new way of understanding conflicts that are going on in the world today and can better explain the context behind decision taken by actors in an armed conflict.
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Jayson tan profile image
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Jayson tan

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 8 months ago
Excellent hard MOOC. This is by far one of the hardest mooc in the body of law to understand, and pre-requisite knowledge of International Law and (a bit on Human Rights Law) is ideal. Thus this course would be best taken after the abovementioned courses are taken. Overall, it covers a very in depth course content by university standards even when compared to other similar themed modules in other universities. The pace is fast and recording notes is a must for the module. Good Job Team.
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Marianna Leite profile image
Marianna Leite profile image

Marianna Leite

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 8 months ago
I really enjoyed this course and appreciate all the work that was put into doing it. I come from a legal background so I thought it was very useful. It provided the knowledge and depth I was aiming to acquire.
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Joseph Simiyu Baraza profile image
Joseph Simiyu Baraza profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 8 months ago
Intense and very Informative . The language of delivery and student exposure is very professional.I recommend this course to anyone who would like to venture a career in International Law and related studies.
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Alain Vandecraen profile image
Alain Vandecraen profile image

Alain Vandecraen

8/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 9 months ago
An excellent course on international humanitarian law with a good balance between theory and practice. Both Prof. Van Steenberghe and Prof. de Hemptinne know their subject and know how to translate the, sometimes complex, concepts in an understandable manner while preserving the depth of IHL. Two thumbs up for the whole team. Hope to see more from them in the future!
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
2 years, 3 months ago
The course was extremely well taught, with a clear and exhaustively explained syllabus which was followed throughout. There are a very few infelicities of style and grammar but there was only one substantial error in the entire course which has since been fixed. That's pretty good for a first run through. I expect the new self-paced version of the course will be even better. The lectures and readings have obviously had a lot of thought put into them and they all cover their topics with a depth and breadth appropriate to an introductory course at this level. That said this is a topic that could easily be an entire Master's degree by itself so all the course does is lay a foundation. The instructors are as knowledgable and professional as you would expect from UCL faculty. They know their subjects and teach well. I was more than satisfied with the course but I can see where others had complaints. The first intermediate assignment... The course was extremely well taught, with a clear and exhaustively explained syllabus which was followed throughout. There are a very few infelicities of style and grammar but there was only one substantial error in the entire course which has since been fixed. That's pretty good for a first run through. I expect the new self-paced version of the course will be even better. The lectures and readings have obviously had a lot of thought put into them and they all cover their topics with a depth and breadth appropriate to an introductory course at this level. That said this is a topic that could easily be an entire Master's degree by itself so all the course does is lay a foundation. The instructors are as knowledgable and professional as you would expect from UCL faculty. They know their subjects and teach well. I was more than satisfied with the course but I can see where others had complaints. The first intermediate assignment was at least as much an introduction to legal and logical reasoning as it was an exam in IHL. An open book, unlimited time, multiple choice exam can be made arbitrarily hard. After that I thought long and hard about every question. The other intermediate assignments were less casuistrically phrased and much more forgiving. The final assignment essay was gnomically phrased enough that I didn't too very well in it though I can tell what they actually wanted after the fact from the brief feedback we got. I really enjoyed the course and got a lot out of it. If I were to offer some suggestions for improvement it would be to keep the instructor paced format over a self-paced one, send weekly emails explaining what's happening and what deadlines are approaching and de-emphasise the forums. The discussion was better than in the International Human Rights Law forums but that's saying very little. They could fruitfully be replaced by either more, earlier and more frequent peer assessment or self assessments of very brief essays, 100-150 words on a topic just after it's been taught using course provided rubrics. This works wonderfully in MITx's Challenges of Global Poverty course. My biggest annoyance in the entire course was the lack of a collated text or texts for revision. In UCL's International Law course all the readings and lectures for each week are available as one document. This is far superior to going through the transcripts and readings on the website. Please change this. I loved the course. You should do it.
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Yvonne Mattei profile image
Yvonne Mattei profile image

Yvonne Mattei

8/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 4 months ago
If you claim to speak english learn it properly. Too much content for time permitted. Worse course I have ever taken with edX . Poorly designed and timing. The first two intermediate assignments were designed to trick and does not reflect the knowledge of the student. I was pursueing the micro masters and even the LLM but after this course I have to rethink the time and financial commitment to do either. I have taken many edX courses and never have failed before. It wasn't worth the time and effort put into this course. The final exam was a disgrace. 1/13 really.
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Yvonne Mattei profile image
Yvonne Mattei profile image

Yvonne Mattei

8/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 4 months ago
Horrible example of UCL-have taken IHRL twice with a grade 84% but failed this course.-Absolutley angry about my final exam grade of 1/13-I should have received at least 6/13 for working hard and submitting my response to a painting-Will now re think taking that last course for the micro masters program.
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Lora Lucero profile image
Lora Lucero profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 completed
2 years, 5 months ago
I was motivated to do my best because the instructors and team clearly did their best in developing a very strong introduction to international humanitarian law. The best part of the MOOC experience was reading the transcript materials at the same time as I was listening to the instructor on the video. Learning through both senses helped me retain the information. I also really appreciated the MOOC's exams because they forced me to really think about the details presented in the course. I feel a big sense of accomplishment.
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Jean-Daniel Gerero profile image
Jean-Daniel Gerero profile image

Jean-Daniel Gerero

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 5 months ago
Of course after doing the first, that of IHRL, running on this same platform, I am very motivated to do the other courses. I will also say that these are the most interesting courses I have had to follow in my life. Congratulations to all the team, a big thank you to the Professors, you who assisted us throughout the discussions and without forgetting all the other eminent Professors and other people we saw in the intervieuws at the end of each chapter . To you with whom we took this course together, it was a great pleasure to read your comments, sometimes there was a real debate.
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Laura Sousa profile image
Laura Sousa profile image

Laura Sousa

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 5 months ago
With relevant content and very good professors, the course requires some time and effort, but it's all worth it. At the end, the student understood the lessons and has a fair knowledge regarding the subject. The online platform doesn't offer any difficulties or technical problems and is very easy to deal with.
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Noële Belluard-Blondel profile image
Noële Belluard-Blondel profile image

Noële Belluard-Blondel

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 5 months ago
A real challenge (advanced level) which pushed me to give my best. I had not a great interest for law until now but with this course I changed my mind! A fantastic and interesting experience! A very instructive and inspiring course!
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 5 months ago
Absolutely awesome and extremely hard work required, but the challenge is an amazing experience. The MOOC Team put huge effort into it. As usual expect the best from UCL.
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Rating Details


  • 5 stars
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  • 3 stars
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  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.