University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Law of Armed Conflict, Use of Force and Peacekeeping (LL.M.)


This paper deals with two interrelated aspects of international law:

  • the legality of use of force and the role of United Nations forces (ius ad bellum); and
  • the law of armed conflict (ius in bello).

There are separate courses of lectures on each of these two elements

  1. The United Nations and the Use of Force:
    1. The unilateral use of force:
      1. The United Nations Charter provisions
      2. The scope of self-defence
      3. Protection of Nationals abroad
      4. Intervention by invitation
      5. The use of force against global terrorism
      6. Humanitarian Intervention; responsibility to protect
    2. The system for collective measures:
      1. Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter
      2. Express and implied authorisation of force
      3. The Development of Peacekeeping through the practice of the United Nations
      4. The Constitutional Basis for UN forces
      5. Chapter VIII and the use of force by regional organisations
    3. Case Studies:
      1. Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/Lebanon, Libya
  2. The Law of Armed Conflict
    1. Basic principles and sources of the law of armed conflict
    2. Classification of conflicts
    3. Combatant status
    4. The conduct of combat and the protection of combatants and civilians
    5. Legal control of weapons
    6. Belligerent occupation