Combating the Human Costs of Armed Conflict

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Spring 2015 Seminar
Meets: T 5:00pm - 7:00pm
2 classroom credits
Required Clinic Component: International Human Rights Clinic (2-4 spring credits). Students enrolled in the spring clinic must take either this course or Human Rights Advocacy (spring). Students will be enrolled in one of these required courses by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. Students are guaranteed a seat in one of these two required courses, but are not guaranteed their first choice. Students may enroll in only one of the two available courses.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: January 16, 2015.
LLM Students: LLM students may apply to the clinic by submitting an application.

Armed conflict causes physical, psychological, and socioeconomic suffering to civilians caught in its path. Militaries inevitably kill and injure bystanders due to their choice of weapons and/or tactics. Armed forces also intentionally harm noncombatants to advance their goals. They wage war by means of rape, ethnic cleansing, and environmental destruction and compel children to fight as soldiers. Collectively these actions impose long-term harm on individuals and societies.

This course will focus on three major types of law designed to reduce the human cost of war. Through case studies, it will consider the scope and effectiveness of international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and international human rights law, and how their principles coincide or conflict. It will also examine new approaches to alleviating civilian suffering, including humanitarian disarmament and post-conflict assistance to victims. The course will conclude by discussing contemporary challenges such as those posed by non-state actors and robotic weapons, which elude the boundaries of existing law.

While learning the purpose and substance of international law related to armed conflict, students will build advocacy skills by doing fact-finding and treaty negotiation role plays. A spring clinical practice component in the International Human Rights Clinic is required of all students.

Subject Areas: Human Rights , International, Comparative & Foreign Law , Procedure & Practice .