Course Syllabus International Operational Law in Operational Planning

Course Code:
Valid from Semester:
Education Cycle:
Advanced level
7.5 Higher education credit
Grading Scale:
Fail, Pass, Pass with Distinction
Main Field of Study:
International and Operational Law
Department of Political Science and Law
International and Operational Law
Language of Instruction:
The education is partially in English
Decided by:
The Research and Education Board’s Course Syllabus Committee at the Swedish Defence University
Decision date:

Entry Requirements

Degree of Master of Laws or Degree of Bachelor of Science in Law with Specialisation in International Law or equivalent plus English B or English 6.

Course Content and Structure

The overall aim of the course is to deepen the student’s understanding of how international law affects the implementation of operational planning of joint operations involving land, air and sea arenas.
The course initially addresses relevant aspects of the law of armed conflict and other legal frameworks relevant to the special nature of the land, air and sea arenas, as well as the legal challenges that arise due to contemporary phenomena, and the methods and means of warfare that exist in each arena. This is followed by an applex, i.e. an exercise or simulation based on a case or scenario, where the student is given the opportunity to practice the operational law aspects of planning joint operations.
Finally, there is an examination in the form of an oral presentation of the applex exercise.
The course focuses in particular on current research and development related to operational legal aspects of land, air and sea operations.
The course begins with lectures interspersed with self-study. The course then alternates between lectures and seminars, which together give the students a foundation for the oral examination.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After having completed course the student should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
  • describe and discuss, both verbally and in writing, the operational law issues and their solutions in dialogue with various groups, especially those who do not have legal training,
  • in situations with limited information, independently identify their need for additional knowledge and take responsibility for their knowledge development.

Competence and skills
  • independently use legal methodology to identify, analyse, assess and manage complex and qualified contemporary operational law phenomena, issues and situations when planning military operations in the ground, air and sea arenas in an armed conflict, even with limited information and under time pressure.

Judgement and approach
  • critically discuss and evaluate the lawyer's role in qualified staff work.


Scope: 7.5 Higher education credit


Grades are set according to a three-grade scale: Pass with Distinction (PwD), Pass (P) and Fail (F). Grading criteria are specified by no later than the start of the course.
To earn the grade Pass (P), the student must actively participate in the applex and earn a grade of Pass (P) on the oral examination.
To earn the grade Pass with Distinction (PwD) in the course, the student must meet the requirements for Pass (P) and earn a grade of Pass with Distinction (PwD) on the oral examination.

Restrictions in Number of Examinations

The number of examinations is not limited.

Restrictions Concerning Degree

The course cannot be included in a degree with another course whose content fully or partially corresponds to the content of this course.

Transitional Provisions

When the course is no longer given or when the course content has changed substantially, the student has the right to be examined once per semester during a three-term period in accordance with this syllabus.


The course is given within the Swedish Defence University’s Master’s Programme in International Operational Law, and may also be given as a freestanding course.
If a student has a decision from the Swedish Defence University regarding special educational support due to a disability, the examiner may decide on alternative forms of examination for the student.
On completion of the course, an evaluation will be conducted under the auspices of the course director and will serve as the basis for any changes to the course.