International Law-the Use of Armed Force (LAWS6062)


The objectives of this unit are to understand and gain a sound knowledge of the legal principles and rules governing the resort to armed force by States; be able to analyse a complex factual situation, recognise the issues arising, and determine the international legal rights and responsibilities of the parties involved; and gain awareness and understanding of current issues relating to the use of force and United Nations practice in matters affecting international peace and security. The course looks at the legal principles and rules governing the resort to force by States; operation of the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter dealing with the use of force, self-defence and collective security; relevant state practice in interpreting the UN Charter; the legal issues arising from the use of force against terrorism; the "Bush Doctrine" of pre-emptive self-defence and its legality under international law; legality of the use of force to assist rebels; the role of the United Nations in peace-building, peace-making, peace-keeping, and peace enforcement; and the legal issues arising from humanitarian intervention and the emerging principle of the responsibility to protect. This unit does not cover the law regulating the conduct of armed conflict (jus in bello), which is the subject of the separate unit LAWS6218 International Humanitarian Law.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Apr 8, 9 & 15, 16 (9-5)


3000wd problem question (40%), 5000wd essay (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS3483 or LAWS5183

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.