227.01 Use of Force in International Law

This seminar will examine current (to include world events that may arise during the course) and historical applications of international law as it relates to the use of force. It focuses on jus ad bellum as opposed to jus in bello, although there will be some overlap. While of obvious interest to those considering government (to include military) and nongovernmental organization service, the course aims to provide a general background and context useful to a wide variety of law practices, particular those involving global business endeavors which may be impacted by international security issues. Students will consider the creative possibilities and practical limitations of international law for regulating the use of force in a variety of situations, especially during periods of putative peace. Case studies curren t news events - will be examined in conjunction with the issues covered. The seminar will analyze what constitutes "force" and "armed attack" under international law, and will survey such topics as self-defense, humanitarian intervention, the law of rescue, and the legal aspects of international counter-piracy and counterterrorism operations. The characteristics of use of force in space and cyberspace also will be discussed, as will be the use of drones and autonomous weapons systems. In addition, the lawfulness of nuclear weaponry, particularly as a deterrent, will be assessed. Students will be encouraged to relate legal and interdisciplinary sources in order to better understand the multi-faceted interaction between law and the use of force. There is no examination for this course (which will only be offered in the fall) but a 20-page paper (constituting 65% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor. Students desiring to use the course paper to fulfill Upper-Level and possibly other writing requirement must obtain instructor approval and produce a paper at least 30 pages in length. The remainder of the grade (35%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation. Students should be aware that this course may include discussion and visual depictions (still and video) of armed conflict and other acts of extreme violence. This course will utilize a course pack. It is anticipated that during the fall of 2017, there will be no class on Tuesday, September 5th, and a make-up class on Friday, September 22nd.

Fall 2017

Course NumberCourse CreditsEvaluation MethodInstructorMeeting Day/TimesRoom
Reflection Papers
Final paper (10+ pages in length)
Oral presentation
Class participation
Charles J. Dunlap, Jr.
8:30-10:20 AM
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.227.01.F17
Email list: LAW.227.01.F17@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Areas of Practice