About this Course
5.0
2 ratings
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Basic understanding of (international) law is helpful.

Hours to complete

Approx. 10 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Skills you will gain

International Humanitarian LawInternational LawLaw
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Basic understanding of (international) law is helpful.

Hours to complete

Approx. 10 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Welcome to this course!

It is great that you are joining us! In this course you will get a deep insight into the law that governs armed conflict. Before you start with “International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice”, we invite you to first take a look around the course content. As you will notice, this MOOC starts with an introduction module in order to help you study successfully in an online environment, and to familiarize you with international humanitarian law. If you encounter any difficulties while studying, please let us know in the forum. For technical difficulties or questions regarding the course certificate, you can always contact the Coursera Learner Helpdesk. We truly hope that you will enjoy this course. Good luck! ...
Reading
1 video (Total 6 min), 7 readings
Reading7 readings
Meet the instructor and his team10m
Welcome to Leiden University, its Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum and the respective partners10m
Complete our short survey5m
Copyright note5m
Tips for studying online5m
Community Guidelines & Academic Toolkit10m
Overview legal texts and abbreviations10m
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Introduction to International Humanitarian Law

In the first week, we will introduce you to the basic concepts of IHL, its history and place in the international legal order. We will discuss two different areas of IHL, “Hague law” and “Geneva law” respectively, and its main legal instruments. At the end, we will look at armed conflict and the protection of war victims from a human rights law perspective, in an engaging discussion with Prof. Helen Duffy....
Reading
2 videos (Total 11 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video2 videos
Welcome to the Arfula case study2m
Reading3 readings
Animation video ICRC "Rules of war in a nutshell"5m
Textbook and introduction podcast interview30m
Introduction case study and further readings5m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Test your IHL knowledge20m
Week
2
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Conflict classification

In this second week, we will study the scope of application of IHL. IHL regulates armed conflict, and therefore we will start by exploring the two different types of armed conflicts: international and non-international armed conflicts (IACs and NIACs). We will also look at the different rules that apply to each type of conflict. In this module, we will furthermore discover special situations of conflict, like belligerent occupation, foreign intervention and NIAC-spill over, which can impact the character of a conflict. At the end of this week we will touch upon situations below the armed conflict threshold, and Prof. Robin Geiss will tell us all about the so-called “global war on terror”....
Reading
5 videos (Total 35 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
Video5 videos
International armed conflicts9m
Non-international armed conflicts9m
Military interventions, NIAC spill-over and situations below armed conflict8m
Arfula case study3m
Reading4 readings
Legal sources and textbook30m
Legal sources and textbook20m
Textbook and introduction podcast interview10m
Further readingsm
Quiz2 practice exercises
Test your IHL knowledge30m
Arfula case study20m
Week
3
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Conduct of hostilities

In this week, we will look through the eyes of combatants and other fighters, and learn how military operations should be conducted. We will familiarize ourselves with the most important principles that need to be applied on the battlefield including those of distinction, proportionality, precautions and the prohibition of unnecessary suffering. We will discover that civilians who refrain from hostilities should never be targeted. At the end of this module we will see that IHL also sets limits to the weapons that can be used by combatants, and Prof. Michael Schmitt will share his viewpoint on whether armed drones and other modern technologies like cyber warfare are lawful under IHL. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 40 min), 3 readings, 3 quizzes
Video6 videos
Distinction9m
Proportionality and precautions7m
Military operations in civil wars5m
Lawful weapons8m
Arfula case study1m
Reading3 readings
Textbook30m
Textbook and introduction podcast interview10m
Further readingsm
Quiz3 practice exercises
Combatant status5m
Test your IHL knowledge30m
Arfula case study20m
Week
4
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Protection of persons

In this module we will look through the eyes of sick and wounded soldiers, detainees, enemy civilians and vulnerable persons in conflict, including children and women. We will discover how IHL safeguards persons who are not - or not anymore - fighting. Together, we will find out that each person should be treated humanely; that detainees should receive water and food; and that young children should never be recruited by the military. At the end of this module, Vincent Bernard from the ICRC will discuss with us the biggest challenges to protect persons who refrain from fighting, and will give us an insight into various IHL success stories across the globe. ...
Reading
6 videos (Total 35 min), 6 readings, 4 quizzes
Video6 videos
The sick and wounded8m
Prisoners of war and other detainees8m
Civilians in the hands of the enemy5m
Protection of women, children and journalists5m
Arfula case study1m
Reading6 readings
Textbook30m
Textbook40m
Legal sources and textbook30m
Women and children affected by war share their story15m
Introduction podcast interview10m
Further readingsm
Quiz4 practice exercises
ICRC's access to detainees10m
Your contribution to the "IHL in Action" platform20m
Test your IHL knowledge30m
Arfula case study20m

Instructors

Avatar

Robert Heinsch

Prof. Dr.
Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies
Avatar

Giulia Pinzauti

Dr.
Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies
Avatar

Emma Irving

Dr.
Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies
Avatar

Cinny Buys

LL.M.
Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

About Universiteit Leiden

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis — Bastion of Liberty....

About Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum

The Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law provides a platform within the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (Leiden University) for the research, teaching and dissemination of international humanitarian law (IHL). Additionally, the Forum offers students of the regular Public International Law master in Leiden to participate in its IHL Clinic and to work on research projects of partner institutions in the field. With these activities, the forum aims to create better protection and assistance for victims of war and more respect for humanity in armed conflict....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.