LAW 7196 - Law of Air Warfare

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

This course will explore legal issues relating to the conduct of air warfare. Students will examine topics including where air operations may be conducted, who and what may be attacked, the status of aircraft, how air operations must be conducted, and what weapons may be used. In addition to covering fundamental issues such as targeting, this course will consider emerging issues including the use of UAVs and automated aerial systems in air warfare.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7196
    Course Law of Air Warfare
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Assessment Class participation, Short Issues paper, Research Essay
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Dale Stephens

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Evaluate and apply principles of the law of air warfare to a range of practical armed
    conflict situations.
    2 Critique the operation of the law of air warfare from theoretical, practical and policy
    perspectives, and in the context of social and cultural diversity.
    3 Develop effective and concise written arguments for legal and professional audiences.
    4 Undertake effective research into the law of air warfare.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course readings will be provided via MyUni prior to the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Classes will be taught in an interactive, intensive mode over one week. Students are expected to have undertaken the reading provided and to come to class ready to discuss that material. The course will feature group discussions of topical issues on which students are expected to express opinions in light of the material covered in the course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    For a 3 unit course the expected workload is 156 hours. This will be structured as 24 hours of face to face teaching over five intensive days and 132 hours of personal study.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Day 1 Airspace, sovereignty, aerial navigation; ADF Air Warfare Doctrine and Industry
    Engagement; Basing Rights in Operations
    Day 2 UAVs and automated aerial systems; Protected aircraft, No Fly Zones and Exclusion Zones
    Day 3 Targeting and Aerial warfare; PGMs and Precautions
    Day 4 Aerial Blockade; Deception, Ruses and Perfidy in Aerial Warfare
    Day 5 Neutrality and Aerial Warfare; Visit and Search in Aerial Warfare; Environmental Protections
    in Aerial Warfare
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Class participation Individual,
    10% 1,2
    Short Issues Paper - 1,500 words Individual,
    1 week after completion of course 30% 1,2,3
    Research Essay - 4,000 words Individual,
    5 weeks after completion of course 60% 1,2,3,4
    Assessment Detail
    The course will comprise three assessment pieces:

    1. Class Participation 10%

    2. Short Issues Paper (1500 words) 30%

    3. Research Essay (4000 words) 60%

    The Short Issues paper will deal with a particular topic or aspect of a topic and will be expected to demonstrate a deeper analysis of that specific matter.

    The Research Essay comprises the bulk of the assessment. This is the opportunity for students to investigate and reflect upon deeper areas of legal, policy and ethical content relating to issues that have been raised in the course. While students will be free to design any relevant (and approved) topic they would like to pursue, a range of pre-approved topics will also be presented to enable students to gauge their interest and motivation regarding particular issues. All essay topics (not on the pre-approved list) must be approved by Prof Dale Stephens (or his delegate) preferably by the last day of the course.

    Submission of all assignments MUST be through the Turn it In submission page.
    Students will be provided with submission instructions as part of the assessment instructions for each item of assessment which will be made available on MyUni.


    Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to law school policy. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    Late Submission Penalties: When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the
    total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that the assignment is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    Word Length Penalties: 5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100
    words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3,100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations, but
    exclude citations in footnotes. Any separate cover page, table of contents, bibliography or list of sources is excluded from the word limit. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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