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Course Outlines

LIBS 7011

War, Peace and Justice

Course Credits 3
Minimum Passing Grade 50%
Start Date September 07, 2021
End Date December 17, 2021
Total Hours 45
Total Weeks 15
Hours/Weeks 3
Delivery Type Other
Pre-requisites BCIT ENGL 1177, or 6 credits BCIT Communication at 1100-level or above, or 3 credits of a university/college first-year social science or humanities course.
CRN 36570

Acknowledgement of Territories

The British Columbia Institute of Technology acknowledges that our campuses are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Nations of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam).

Instructor Details

Name Jean Laponce
E-mail Instructor to provide
Office Hours Instructor to provide

Course Description

Recent events on the world stage, along with Canada's somewhat ambivalent attitude toward its own role in armed intervention have sparked renewed interest in the legality of specific wars and in the ethics of warfare generally. This course considers whether there is any defensible basis for applying legal and ethical standards to armed conflict among and within nations.

Course Learning Outcomes/Competencies

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Apply cross-disciplinary methods and concepts in course assignments and discussions.
  • Critically read and assess material from disciplines, genres, and eras other than those normally encountered in his/her BCIT technology program.
  • Compare traditional and contemporary approaches to past and current controversies presented in the course.
  • Produce paragraph-based, essay-based and/or oral presentations that evaluate aspects of the course material.
  • Produce written and oral arguments that demonstrate skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing.
  • Apply course concepts and skills to his/her intellectual, civic and professional life outside the classroom.
  • Explain the principled differences between pacifism, realism and just war theory.
  • Assess the merit of the realist critique of pacifism.
  • Assess the merit of the realist critique of just war theory.
  • Judge the effectiveness of the replies to the realist challenge.
  • Assess the pacifist critique of just war theory.
  • Judge the effectiveness of the replies to the pacifist critique of just war theory.
  • Explain the nature of just cause, with respect to jus ad bellum.
  • Judge the proper scope of concepts such as right intention, proper authority, last resort and proportionality, with respect to jus ad bellum.
  • Explain the nature of jus in bello, in both its internal and external forms.
  • Explain the principle of non-combatant immunity.
  • Explain the proportionality rule, with respect to jus in bello.
  • Interpret and apply rules of jus in bello to cases of historical significance.
  • Explain the nature of jus post bellum, with reference to peace settlements, rights restoration, rehabilitation, restitution and punishment for war crimes.
  • Apply the rules of jus post bellum to the current occupation of Iraq.
  • Assess the status of the International Court of Justice at the Hague, in terms of legitimacy and efficacy.
  • Establish the priority among principles and laws when these are seen to conflict in particular cases.
  • Employ three modes of judicial reasoning: reasoning from interpretive guidelines, reasoning from prior cases, reasoning from principle.

Learning Resources

There are no learning resources required for purchase for this course. Weekly reading and video viewing assignments will be freely available online from the BCIT Library, assorted internet open access resources, and ‘handouts’ posted in Learning Hub.

Evaluation Criteria

Criteria % Comments
Participation (quizzes and short writing assignments) 60
Final exam20

BCIT Policy

Any student who needs special assistance in the event of a medical emergency or building evacuation (either because of a disability or for any other reason) should promptly inform their course instructor(s) and Accessibility Services of their personal circumstances.

Human Rights, Harassment and Discrimination:
The BCIT community is made up of individuals from every ability, background, experience and identity, each contributing uniquely to the richness and diversity of the BCIT community as a whole. In recognition of this, and the intrinsic value of our diversity, BCIT seeks to foster a climate of collaboration, understanding and mutual respect between all members of the community and ensure an inclusive accessible working and learning environment where everyone can succeed.

Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion is a supportive resource for both students and employees of BCIT, to foster a respectful learning and working environment. Any student who feels that they are experiencing discrimination or harassment (personal or human rights-related) can confidentially access this resource for advice and support. Please see Policy 7507 – Harassment and Discrimination and accompanying procedure.

Students should make themselves aware of additional Education, Administration, Safety and other BCIT policies listed at

Guidelines for

Students must successfully complete a course within a maximum of three (3) attempts at the course. Students with two attempts in a single course will be allowed to repeat the course only upon special written permission from the Associate Dean. Students who have not successfully completed a course within three attempts may not be eligible to graduate from their respective program.

Regular attendance in lectures and labs is seen as integral to student success, therefore, attendance in class is monitored. Unexcused absences in excess of 10% of the time prescribed for this course may result in the assignment of a failing grade. Attendance may be taken at any time during class. A student not present for attendance will be marked absent. A student who leaves class for a period of time deemed excessive by the instructor may be considered absent regardless of whether they are present when attendance is taken.

In case of illness or other unavoidable absence, students must communicate with the instructor, or the appropriate Program Head, as soon as possible (preferably in advance) indicating the reason for the absence. Students who are seeking accommodation for a medical absence must have a BCIT-approved medical certificate ). For other absences, students must be prepared to provide appropriate supporting documentation.

A student who has unexcused absences in excess of 10% of the time prescribed for the course by the Withdrawal Deadline is considered to have ‘Vanished’ and will be assigned a grade of ‘V’. In these cases, no further work will be graded.

These requirements are set out in accordance with BCIT Policy 5101 Student Regulations. More information regarding withdrawals from PTS courses is available at


I verify that the content of this course outline is current.
Jean Laponce, Instructor
September 07, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed.
Michael Bourke, Faculty
September 07, 2021

I verify that this course outline has been reviewed and complies with BCIT policy.
Patricia Sackville, Associate Dean
September 07, 2021

Note: Should changes be required to the content of this course outline, students will be given reasonable notice.