Boston University School of Law



This seminar will critically examine selected legal doctrines and related moral precepts of the contemporary law of war, including both the law on resort to force (jus ad bellum) and the law governing the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello). Topics may include, among others, the nature and scope of legitimate, proportional self-defense; humanitarian intervention; the propriety of and the law governing resort to force against contemporary terrorist networks; the justification for non-combatant immunity and the converse combatant's privilege; proportionality in the conduct of war; drone warfare; and other contemporary controversies that characterize warfare in the early twenty-first century. Students will be asked to submit brief written reaction papers concerning the readings on a regular basis, and a short paper at the end of the semester. For those law students wishing to satisfy the upper class writing requirement, a longer paper is required. The class will also be open to a limited number of graduate students from other BU departments. LIMITED WRITING OPTION: A limited number of students will be able to satisfy the writing requirement with a paper. GRADING NOTICE: This seminar does not offer the CR/NC/H option. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who waitlist for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.