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

1,467 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.

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76 - 100 of 327 Reviews for International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice

By Aditia B S

Jan 22, 2020

Really helping me to understand what International Humanitarian Law, this course acquire more some knowledges and law-vocabulary in the same time. It's appropriate with you who want to learn more about international law

By Stacey B

May 9, 2020

A truly insightful course which gives you a good introduction to IHL in theory and in practice, especially for those with no background on the topic. Every concept is well-explained and the content is rich as well.

By saurovh m

Jul 27, 2022

I am really grateful to Universiteit Leiden & Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum as well as Prof. Robert Heinsch, Prof. Giulia Pinzauti , Prof. Emma Irving, Prof. Cinny Buys, LL.M. for enhancing my knowledge in IHL.

By Marina T d M F

Mar 12, 2020

It's a privilege to have access to this content. I had a clear understanding of the mechanisms of IHL and how they differ from regular international law and hopefully can apply it further on my education.

By Neto M

Dec 29, 2022

This is a good and comprehensible course, although the video explanations are really short. If you're the kind of person that likes reading and learning everything by yourself, this could come in handy.

By Dingizwe R M

Mar 19, 2023

An excellent eye opening and capacitating course in regard to peace and justice n this world. it has broaden my horizons and i see relationships between nations and states in a more enlightened manner.


Nov 25, 2022

Me pareció un curso muy completo, que me ayudo a entender el papel de los organismos internacionales, y su importancia en los conflictos armados internacionales o no internacionales.



By Elvira M J

Nov 24, 2019

A complete and highly recommendable MOOC: enjoyable, with accurate readings, video training, podcasts and a case study that is being extended with each module. I recommend it without a doubt.

By Michael D C H

Dec 30, 2022

Very good course. It allows a better understanding of International Humanitarian Law and also obtains better tools for its application and also, the explanation for military personnel.

By Elisa B

Dec 26, 2018

Really interesting course, well-organised and full of useful information. Thank you to all the Course Team for making it so enjoyable to learn so much about such a complex subject.

By Haya G

Jul 21, 2021

Very enjoyable! Loved how it wasn't just readings but podcasts and videos to keep students hooked. I learned so much throughout this course and have very little criticism of it!

By Gisela A C R

Jul 10, 2019

I enjoyed this course immensely. There is enough material as well as additional material to delve deeper into the content of the course. I will definitely recomend this course.

By T N

Nov 7, 2022

International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice is a crucial course unit for all Humanitarian actors. All Ought to study it

I give 5 stars because of it practicability.

By Daniil B

Apr 7, 2020

That's an incredibly interesting course, it can make you interested in Humanitarian Law if you've never heard of it. I was enjoying all the time I participated in the course!

By Patience M N

Jun 12, 2019

I'm enjoying the course. The quiz part is brainstorming as it mandates and allows one to pay attention to the detail in the explanations given.

Thank you for this course.

By Saifullah M

Aug 22, 2021

The Professors very beautifully explained IHL and I glad i completed it within short span of time. I suggest every one interested in IHL shall take this course via coursera


Jun 20, 2020

The best course to understand the basics of International Humanitarian Laws. The tutors have remarkably succeeded in making this subject quite interesting and engaging.

By Elena V

Mar 21, 2020

It was the most interesting course of Coursera. I'm specialised in IHL for 2 years and notwithstanding this fact I found out many important things. Thank you very much!


Nov 22, 2022


By Dayana L

Mar 14, 2019

Es un curso excelente, te ponen casos practicos para que los estudies y te indican en donde se encuentras la normas de DIH, así como su explicación e interpretación

By Johnny E

Jun 10, 2019

This is a nice course, It helps me open many ideas about International Humanitarian Law and the role of this IHL for every individual and for a society in general.

By faisal a

Apr 29, 2021

i have gained very muck knowledge about international humanitarian law..Thankyou very much to coursera and the leiden university and its competent faculty members

By Jose S M

Jun 28, 2020

Excellent course to understand International Humanitarian Law. This will help a lot in my teaching of Constitutional Law and International Law. Thanks and cheers!

By Olena N

Dec 28, 2019

I Liked this course. I do recommend International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice for all who interested in International Humanitarian Law. Many thanks.


Jun 6, 2019

excellent course for the understanding of the international humanitarian law both for academicians and practitioners to begin a further study on the subject.