Chevron Left
Back to International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice

Learner Reviews & Feedback for International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice by Universiteit Leiden

1,468 ratings

About the Course

“International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice” is the first MOOC of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law, which is the platform within the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University for the research, teaching and dissemination of international humanitarian law (IHL). In this course, Prof. Robert Heinsch, Dr. Giulia Pinzauti and Dr. Emma Irving will give you a deep insight into the rules that govern armed conflict, and aim to mitigate human suffering on the battlefield. You will explore the why and how of IHL, followed by the different types of conflict. In no time you will find out which rules apply to the civil war in Syria, the military intervention in Ukraine and the occupation of the West Bank. During this course, you will learn how hostilities should be waged: Which weapons can be used by combatants and other fighters? And, who should never be a target during military operations? We will also look into the concept of protected persons, and you will find out how IHL affords protection to the sick and wounded, medical personal, detainees, children, journalists and other persons who are not - or not anymore - fighting. At the end of this course, you are introduced to the different implementation and enforcement mechanisms that aim to increase respect for IHL. Here, you are invited to think critically whether IHL works! Throughout this course you will benefit from a mix of theory and practice, which is at the heart of the vision and mandate of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum. You can participate for instance in an ongoing case study where drones are flying over the fictitious country Arfula, and detainees are locked up in tiny cells. Or, you can join our discussions about IHL success stories and the major IHL challenges we face today, with distinguished speakers from the International Committee of the Red Cross and US Naval War College! This course is free to join and to participate in. There is the possibility to get a verified certificate for the course, which is a paid option. If you want a certificate, but are unable to pay for it, you can request financial aid via Coursera....

Top reviews


Dec 14, 2018

this course is helpful in basic understanding of IHL and in understanding the difference between Human rights laws and IHL enforcements . Teaching Faculty clarified simplified the overview very well.


May 30, 2019

A really very wonderful, articulate and helpful course. The Professors were great with their knowledge and presentations. The practical insight given by the guest-speakers were just priceless.

Filter by:

51 - 75 of 327 Reviews for International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice

By Karol U

Jul 10, 2021

This was new to me on every lever. I had never heard of IHL but I was fascinated and go through the material very quickly and easily. I believe this is important to learn and this course provides everything you need. I am now interested i IHL and will keep my eye out for another course

By Didem

Dec 14, 2018

absolutely I have learned a lot. I'm now thinking to learn much more about IHL and write an article about it. I loved teachers and the way that they explains very serious subjects to us. I hope I can be there, in Leiden, in The Hague :) again, thank you all. I am really grateful.

By Rick a D N V

Jan 18, 2019

Excellent course! Objective material with well-prepared teachers. All exercises and activities are practical, with a very good theoretical basis. The "Arfula Case" is the icing on the cake, inasmuch as it presents an stimulating and pedagogical option to deepen knowledge about IHL.

By Estíbaliz C

May 3, 2020

Este curso realmente me ha servido como base para conocer el DIH y su marco de aplicación. Los cuestionarios de caso con el ejemplo de Arfula han servido para ilustrar cómo se aplicarían estas leyes en un conflicto real. 100% recomendable, haré más cursos de este tipo sin duda!

By Gabriela G N

Jul 12, 2019

It's been such an easy way to learn a lot about IHL!, even if your academic background is very low or not related at any point, you will find flexible and high quality interviews, lectures and additional material to learn as much as you can, noticing your progress week by week.

By Despina K

May 18, 2019

Excellent organIsation and categorisation of the modules. Very important and enlightening course for all of us who try to keep up the law in every range. Your university made the so called achievement on education on IHL, especially in nowadays worldwide warlike circumstances.

By Elmar J A

Apr 30, 2021

This course deepened my knowledge and understanding in International Humanitarian Law. Its podcasts and case study helped in appreciating the application of IHL in real life scenario. It is the perfect introductory course regarding the topic of International Humanitarian Law.

By Ramses M

Aug 11, 2020

This course is expertly taught by professors from institutes centered around IHL. In other words, they know their stuff. This is an excellent introduction to IHL, and covers a good deal of its foundation. Greatly deepened my interest in the subject. The instructors are great!

By Sageeth C M

Sep 19, 2022

This course provides a comprehensive knowledge in the principles of IHL. Case studies are often referred and examples of the IHL application are indicated. The course lecturers are providing the latest knowledge on the subject area and they the top experts in the field.

By Karl B P A

Jan 5, 2020

Leiden U's IHL course offered broad and current perspectives alongside in-depth discussion of the different laws constituting the entire body of IHL. I felt comfortable with the mixed activities encouraging retention of knowledge, as well as discussion with peers.

By SOH S H R S 2

Jan 21, 2021

It was really interesting when a lot of real-life examples are given as it makes it more relevant to our lives, but be prepared to do a lot of reading in order to fully understand IHL, its applications and effects on our world. Overall quite an informative class.

By Davide A

Aug 20, 2022

As a military police officer i found it very interesting and important to know the rules of IHL even if my country is not directly participating in any conflict at the present state. I think this should be part of the knowledge of everyone doing a job like mine.

By Amina Z

Aug 12, 2019

Really enjoyed it! Completed 5 weeks in one! Is suitable for both those who already have some knowledge of IHL and those who just start getting familiar with it. Many thanks to all the people who worked on this course and made it available for us! Best of luck!

By Lyhak C

Nov 25, 2019

This course provides a very interesting outline for students like me to easily understand the whole purpose of the course which makes me feel influenced by everything they have prepared. I suggest students who want to improve their IHL apply for this course.

By Aruna P

Nov 14, 2019

This is a course everyone and anyone should take to understand what exists in terms of law. With the increasing number of armed conflict happening around the world, this course can help nation and states at war prevent from committing massive human casualty.

By Julija V

Nov 7, 2022

I have really enjoyed this course. It was quiet informative, with a good combination of mini lectures, readings, quizzes, reflections and case study. Also included many readings references to go deeper in this topic if really interested. Highly recommended!

By Michael M

Feb 26, 2020

The course is really fascinating and those who are interested in pursuing career in humanitarian field shall do it! The complexity of this course captured my mind. However, every single detail is explained in plain language. So do it and you won't regret!


Mar 26, 2020

The whole experience was very good, learned about international humanitarian laws, practice and implementation. I hope it will develop skill and fill some motivation in me to work with Red cross/Red crescent movement and shape my career widely.

By jermaine j h

Sep 17, 2021

It is one of the best courses l have ever encountered, the tutorials and lecturers are exceptional. All the knowledge l definitely needed has been put at my doorstep. I would succinctly say, my goals towards a desired carrier have been shaped.

By Gabriel M D

Oct 28, 2019

Very interesting and well-organized course. It serves as an exceptional introductory arena for future scholars and practitioners in the realm of IHL. The texts suggested are also a necessary tool for a more deep understanding of the subject.

By pearl a l

Dec 9, 2018

A very well designed course - easy to understand and follow especially for non-lawyer like me. The arfula case study is challenging and an engaging application of laws/theories presented in the course. Thank you to all our lecturers.

By Piero G C V

Dec 25, 2022

Great course, happy to have taken it and even more glad for all the professor that took the time to create the lectures as well as providing us with tools and forums in order to stimulate our critical thinking and knowledge of IHL.

By Birte B

Dec 29, 2018

This is an excellent course. Unfortunatetly I could not finish it before the deadline, as I am taking this court for fun, besides working. I was not able to find out whether I can download the course somehow to finish it later on.

By Caroline B

Oct 22, 2022

I absolutely loved this course. The videos were well-done, and extremely organized. Like everyone else in the world, I am very, very tight on time. The videos were great and to-the-point. Thank you SO much for this course!

By Гостев Ф А

Oct 27, 2020

A very good basic course on the IHL. Good structure and content, very helpful to set the foundation. Features a great amount of linked sources, interesting further readings, podcast interviews etc, which is worth your time.