International law and contemporary conflicts
International law applicable to conflict situations is an area of law in which states and other actors often differ in opinion. This course provides an understanding of international law applicable to various types of contemporary conflict situations, such as state-to-state armed conflicts, internal armed conflicts and peace operations.
The course focuses on:
- the foundations of international law, including the sources of international law, legal personality, enforcement mechanisms,
- and methods of international law; the use of force in international relations, including the general prohibition of use of force between states
and its recognised and disputed exceptions; human rights in crisis and conflict situations, including the scope of the main human rights instruments in relation to various types of conflict situations; international humanitarian law (the laws of war) and its application to, and regulation of, international and non-international armed conflicts.
During the course, each field of law is approached from the viewpoint of a specific contemporary conflict situation in order to exemplify and contextualise
the application of the law. Different legal arguments are weighed against each other, and the student is trained in taking independent standpoints on questions of international law applicable to contemporary conflicts.
Dr. Pontus Winther is a researcher and Lecturer in International Law at the Swedish Defence University. With a background as a navy officer in the Swedish Armed Forces, Pontus has a predominantly practical approach to legal questions, combined with a thorough interest in legal methodology. His main research interest lies in the laws of hybrid warfare.