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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

LAWM037: The Use of Force in International Law

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Just war and the jus ad bellum
  • The prohibition of the use of force
  • Self-defence: principles and elements
  • Self-defence against non-state actors
  • Anticipatory self-defence
  • Humanitarian intervention and R2P
  • Collective security and the UN Security Council
  • Enforcement action under the UN Charter
  • Criminalization of aggressive war

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity33Seminars (11 x 3 hours per week). The main teaching method for the module consists of weekly seminars requiring active participation by all students under guidance of the module convenor.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity3Attendance at relevant events organised by the Exeter Centre for International Law.
Guided Independent Study20Preparation of individual and group seminar presentations.
Guided Independent Study179Assigned seminar readings.
Guided Independent Study25Preparation of the formative essay.
Guided Independent Study40Preparation of the summative assessment.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

United Nations:

International Court of Justice:


Opinio Juris (blog):

EJIL:Talk! (blog):

Just Security (blog):