Women, War and Peacebuilding

Subject LAWS70118 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

September, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 31-Aug-2016
Teaching Period 28-Sep-2016 to 04-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 11-Jan-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 31-Mar-2016
Census Date 28-Sep-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Nov-2016

This subject has a quota of 30 students. Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24-26 hours
Total Time Commitment:

136-150 hours

The pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.


JD Students:
Successful completion of both the below subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Melbourne Law Masters Students:
Successful completion of the below subject

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact Student Equity and Disability Support.



Professor Hilary Charlesworth (Coordinator)

Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
Website: www.law.unimelb.edu.au/masters

Subject Overview:

This subject examines the way that international law regulates women in both war and peace-building. It will study the way that legal principles position women in the areas of international humanitarian law, international criminal law and international human rights law. The subject will also investigate developments in the United Nations Security Council dealing with sexual violence in conflict and women’s participation in conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building.

Principal topics include:

  • An analysis of the way that international law depicts women in conflict, including as civilians, victims, survivors, refugees, widows, combatants and peace-makers
  • The Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their 1977 Additional Protocols
  • Human rights law relating to women’s rights during armed conflict and in its aftermath
  • Accountability of the United Nations for the activities of peacekeeping forces
  • International criminal law relating to women
  • The impact of the United Nations Security Council ‘women, peace and security’ agenda
  • The role played by international non-government organisations (NGOs)
  • The challenges facing women in post-conflict peace-building.
Learning Outcomes:

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the international legal principles that regulate women in war and peace-building
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal rules
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, such as the role of the United Nations Security Council’s women, peace and security agenda.
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of developments in international criminal law, including the work of the International Criminal Court, with respect to crimes against women
  • Have an advanced understanding of systems of accountability of United Nations peacekeepers
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating the regulation of women’s roles in war and peace-building and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse the regulation of women’s roles in war and peace-building
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding the regulation of women’s roles in war and peace-building to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of the regulation of women’s roles in war and peace-building.
  • Take-home examination(5,000-6,000 words as specified in the subject reading guide) (100%) (18 - 21 November)
  • 10,000 word research paper (100%) (11 January 2017) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Prescribed Texts:

Specialist printed materials will be made available free of charge from the Melbourne Law School prior to the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: www.law.unimelb.edu.au/subject/LAWS70118/2016
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Human Rights Law
Graduate Diploma in International Law
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Juris Doctor
Master of Human Rights Law
Master of Law and Development
Master of Laws
Master of Public and International Law
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development

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