International Humanitarian Law

6 ECTS / Semester / English

Learning Outcomes

  • To develop critical, logical and structered reasoning skills in the context of international humanitarian law.
  • To understand war in its multiple dimensions (law, society, economics, politics), focusing on the scope, importance and utility of a legal approach to war.
  • To become aware of the interplay between legal rules and social values underlying the regulation of hostilities.
  • To become aware of the substantive legal rules of IHL and its implementation.
  • To sharpen the analysis of current events, and how the law works in its daily practical application so that, when confronted with current events and narration that contend with IHL, students are able to sustain their own grounded legal opinion.
  • To understand the dynamic relationship between politics, human rights, international humanitarian law and international law


1. International Humanitarian Law (IHL) - definition and relation with international human rights law and ius ad bellum.

2.Armed Conflict Typology

3.Fundamental Principles of IHL

4. Current chalenges to IHL:

A. Internal-internationalized armed conflicts

B. Peacekeeping operations and the application of IHL

C. Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory - International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion

D. Concession of status and treatment due to Prisioners of war status –Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib

E. Cultural Property Protection

F. Means and Methods of Warfare

G. Prohibition and restriction on the use of certain weapons

H. Nuclear weapons and IHL

I. Child-soldiers

J. International State Responsability for violations of IHL

K. Transnational Armed Groups and IHL

L. Special status of protection

M. The use of Drones

N.Terrorism and IHL

O.Current challenges on occupation law

P. The privatization of war


Professor(a) Auxiliar
Licenciada em Direito pela Escola de Direito do Porto da Universidade Católica Portuguesa, em 2004. Mestre em Direito pela Escola de Direito de Lisboa…