This page contains affiliate links. This means if you a follow a link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you, Humanitarian Careers will receive a commission. Thank you for supporting the site.
International Humanitarian Law Courses
International humanitarian law governs armed conflicts and attempts to reduce the negative impacts of violence on populations. These online courses on international humanitarian law by leading institutions in the field are ideal for those wanting a better understanding the history, theory and practical implementations of international humanitarian law. Covering the role of combatants, civilians, aid workers and journalists in war zones, these online courses use real world scenarios to show the successes, and challenges, of international humanitarian law.
International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice – University of Leiden
Start Instantly and Learn at Your Own Schedule
Approx. 19 Hours to Complete
The International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice online course by the University of Leiden provides a broad overview of the laws that govern armed violence. International humanitarian law aims to reduce the impact and suffering on those affected by conflicts. This web course explains how international humanitarian law applies in different conflict scenarios and how international humanitarian law is applied in practice. The students learn from real world case studies including the Syrian Civil War, the military conflict in Ukraine and the occupation of the West Bank by Israel.
The University of Leiden online course on international humanitarian law covers two main elements. Firstly, it explores the theory of international humanitarian law. Students learn how armed conflicts should be conducted and the legal frameworks designed to control them. The web course also teaches the history of international humanitarian law, including the historical events that lead to its creation as well as the times it has been tested and been successful, as well as its failures. Students are encouraged to question if international humanitarian law works and what is needed to fully reduce the impact of armed conflicts.
As well as covering the theory, the University of Leiden online course focuses on the practical implementation of international humanitarian law. This includes how protection should be granted to the wounded and ill, those providing medical and humanitarian aid, children, news reporters and civilians. The online course also introduces the enforcement methods of international humanitarian law and covers the practical tools used to bring war criminals to justice. The web course describes which weapons should and should not be used in armed conflicts and why, and what happens when the use of these weapon breaks international humanitarian law.
This course aims to provide a broad overview of international humanitarian law and acts as an introduction to the main topics. It is ideal for anyone with an interest in international humanitarian law, armed conflict or global security and peacebuilding. The course has been developed by leading practitioners in international humanitarian law and has inputs from humanitarian legal professionals including from the International Committee of the Red Cross and US Naval War College. The course is free to take and participants can pay a small fee to have a certificate accrediting their qualification in international humanitarian law.
International Law in Action: Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes – University of Leiden
Start Instantly and Learn at Your Own Schedule
Approx. 17 Hours to Complete
The University of Leiden also offers an online course focusing on international humanitarian law in action. The e-learning course specifically looks at how war crimes and crimes against humanitarian are investigated and prosecuted. By doing this, the online course also shows students the challenges international humanitarian law faces in successfully holding perpetrators of crimes to account, as well as the lengths international humanitarian law practitioners can go to successfully bring violators to justice. The online course also has specific focus on the methods of investigation needed to enforce international humanitarian law.
The International Law in Action: Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes online course by the University of Leiden explores the practical implementation of international humanitarian law, from prosecuting infamous war lords to bring individual foot-soldiers to justice. The web training also looks at weather bringing justice is achievable and weather the resources dedicated to implementing international humanitarian law achieve the impact required. Students also learn how international humanitarian law functions, what the main organisations and actors are, and what results are expected when international humanitarian law is pursued.
A key element of the University of Leiden’s web training on International Law in Action is allowing students to question how international humanitarian law can be improved. This is done by focusing on specific international humanitarian legal trials, including the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the Democratic Republic of Congo war lord who was the first case tried at the International Criminal Court. Students on the online course also review the impacts of the UN’s international criminal tribunals and the legacy these have had on international humanitarian law.
The University of Leiden’s course International Law in Action: Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes is taken entirely online. Participants study at their own-pace. The course takes around 18 hours to complete and most participants study over 4 weeks. The course is aimed as an introduction to international humanitarian law so no prior legal knowledge is needed. Participants should have an interest in learning the details of how international humanitarian law is investigated and prosecuted. The course is ideal for current students of international humanitarian law and those looking for a career bringing violators to justice.
International Law in Action: the Arbitration of International Disputes – University of Leiden
Start Instantly and Learn at Your Own Schedule
Approx. 11 Hours to Complete
International arbitration aims to resolve global disputes before conflicts and violence occurs. Linked closely to international humanitarian law, international legal arbitration is a related area that should be studied by anyone interested in international humanitarian law. This online course, also developed by the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, focuses on how international disputes can be resolved through legal mechanisms, preventing conflicts between state and non-state actors and limiting humanitarian crises as a result. The course covers various facets of international legal arbitration, as well as political, historical and economic factors that increase the risks of international disputes and humanitarian disasters.
The core question posed by the University of Leiden’s online course International Law in Action: The Arbitration of International Disputes is can global conflict be resolved and more peaceful world created by legal means? Linking directly to international humanitarian law, the e-learning course has students explore real world contexts such as the South China Sea arbitration and the Yukos trial. The aims of these case studies are to explore how conflict and violence can be prevented from escalating and humanitarian crises averted. Successful international arbitration can be used to avoid the need for international humanitarian law, as this online course explains.
The web-training on international law in action by the University of Leiden is highly relevant for those wanting to better understanding international humanitarian law. By covering the legal methods, main institutions and actors and reviewing the challenges and successes of international arbitration, students can see how these link to international humanitarian law and grasp a wider picture of how international law in general functions. Many of the strengths and weaknesses of international law in general are represented within the sub-section of international humanitarian law, and this online course provides participants with a crucial critique.
This online course is perfect for those who have a general understanding of international humanitarian law and want to gain a wider contextual knowledge. This e-learning course is also ideal for people who want to compare different international legal practices and see how international arbitration can prevent humanitarian crises and conflicts and limit the need for international humanitarian law. Students usually complete the online course in 12 hours and study over 4 weeks. You can receive a certificate upon completion for a small fee. The course is self-directed allowing students to complete it at their own pace.
Introduction to International Humanitarian Law – ICRC
Start Instantly and Learn at Your Own Schedule
Approx. 5 Hours to Complete
The International Committee of the Red Cross is one of the leading organisations working on international humanitarian law. They have developed this online course to introduce the basic concepts of international humanitarian law. It is focused at humanitarian workers, governments and policy makers who need to have a background understanding of what international humanitarian law is, when it applies and who it protects. The interactive e-learning course has been developed by leading ICRC practitioners working in international humanitarian law.
The online course by ICRC an Introduction to International Humanitarian law focuses on the laws that govern armed conflict and covers the foundational history, theories, methods and tools used to try and limit the impact of human violence on populations. The course explores the conflicts and contexts that resulted in the creation of international humanitarian law, as well as what specific scenarios international humanitarian law applies to. Students on the online course learn about the exact rules in-place to try and protect civilians, prisoners and injured and wounded personnel during armed conflicts, as well as how international humanitarian law applies to medical staff and aid workers.
The aim of the Introduction to International Humanitarian law online course by the ICRC is to provide participants with a strong understanding of three core principles of international humanitarian law. These are distinction, proportionality and precautions. The web course also puts these core principles of international humanitarian law in real-world contexts and aims for participants to understand how they limit the effects of armed violence and reduce the impact of conflicts. The e-training also applies these principles to state and non-state armed groups, acknowledging that the modern context in which international humanitarian law now operates is no longer one where inter-state conflict is the norm.
The ICRC online course, an Introduction to International Humanitarian Law, is available free through the Humanitarian Leadership Academy’s online learning portal Kaya. Participants needs to create an account but this also gives them access to a wide range of relevant humanitarian online learning. The web course takes around 5 hours to complete but each module is self-contained, allowing students to break-up their learning. It is self-directed and can be completed in the students own time. Upon completion of the course, participants receive a certificate accrediting their new qualification in international humanitarian law.
International Humanitarian Law – UC Louvain
Certificate Upon Completion
12 Weeks – 2 Hours Per Week to Complete
This online course by UC Louvain covers the background and contemporary implementation of international humanitarian law. The International Humanitarian Law Web course by UC Louvain explores how the implementation of international humanitarian law is becoming more complex. Through real world case studies including how combatants and terrorists are defined, what determines state and non-stated armed groups and the role of the UN in armed peacekeeping. Through investigating such complex international humanitarian law issues, students see the real-world implications of international humanitarian law.
The UC Louvain e-training on international humanitarian law gives students an understanding of the specific legal issues involved in international humanitarian law and how armed conflicts are governed. The online course covers the foundational theory and practices of international humanitarian law, combining this with cutting-edge research by academics and law makers. Participants in the web course are encouraged to assess the successes international humanitarian law has had, as well as what factors compound to reduce the effectiveness of international humanitarian law and what prevents armed conflicts from being controlled and impacts reduced.
This online course has on international humanitarian law by UC Louvain has three main learning outcomes. The first is to analyse and critique the complex issues around armed conflict and international humanitarian law, understanding the specific legal terminology and use. The second is for students to understand the history, logic and theory that underpins international humanitarian law, where this comes from and why it was developed. Students also cover how these foundational philosophies affect the practical implementation of international humanitarian law. Finally, participants are encouraged to develop practical solutions to improving international humanitarian law and how war criminals can be better brought to justice.
The international humanitarian law online course by UC Louvain takes around 12 weeks to complete. Participants usually study for between 4 and 12 hours a week and study is self-directed. This e-learning course is aimed at more advanced pupils of international humanitarian law and ideally you should have some legal understanding before taking the course. The course can be taken by those without a legal background, but understanding the terminology may take time. All participants should have an interest in international humanitarian law and its implementation. The course is especially ideal for law students who want to work in international humanitarian law.