Having studied the need for the basic rules of international humanitarian law (IHL), in this module students examine two related issues: why people violate IHL and who bears the responsibility for ensuring that the rules are upheld.
Download PDFs of the module or of individual explorations here.
Exploration 3A: Identifying violations of IHL
- Using actual statements from people involved in armed conflict, students identify violations of IHL in times of war and look for reasons why people violate the rules. They trace, through chains of consequences, how individual violations can lead to other violations. They brainstorm about ways to limit such violations.
Exploration 3B: From the perspective of combatants
- Through dilemma pedagogy, students come to appreciate some of the challenges of upholding IHL during armed conflict, especially when the distinction between combatants and civilians is blurred.
Exploration 3C: Who is responsible for respecting IHL?
- Through brainstorming, problem solving and examining statements made by military leaders, students now discuss answers to a question that they usually raise early in the programme: Who is responsible for ensuring that IHL is obeyed?
Exploration 3D: A case study: My Lai - What went wrong? What went right?
- Through an in-depth study of this noted case, students begin to grasp some of the issues involved in enforcing IHL and the consequences of enforcement. Role-playing exercises, examination of documents, videotaped testimony, and dilemma analysis help students understand that both training before the fact and prosecution after violations are necessary.