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Course Catalogue


NATO Operational Law Course

Conducted by COSEC


The aim of this course is to prepare military and civilian legal advisors to address strategic, operational, and tactical legal issues relevant to NATO military operations.


Duration: 1 Week
Course Structure: Resident (1)
Language: English 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Classification: NATO Secret
Discipline: LGL - Legal
Area: LE - Legal
Depth of Knowledge: 3 - Advance
ePrime No.: ACT.437
ETOC Code: LGL-LE-3689

Course Iterations

Code Course Dates Open Seats
N5-68-A-23 24 - 28 Apr 23
N5-68-B-23 30 Oct 23 - 03 Nov 23 Contact POC

If you wish to join a course you may have your agency POC send a seat request. Please click on the POC Finder to obtain the contact information of your agency POC.

Learning Objectives

International Law Refresher: Given references, students will recall the international legal structure within which NATO operates, how the law of armed conflict and international human rights law apply to NATO forces, how the Alliance and its member states may be held legally responsible for collective actions, and what function is performed by NATO legal advisors

NATO Operational Planning: Given references, students will recall how NATO plans for operations, how the Alliance responds to a crisis, the nature of ROE and how/when they are developed, the legal constraints of selecting targets, and how the law of the sea influences Alliance naval operations

NATO Operational Legal Topics: Given references, students will recall NATO doctrine regarding joint operations, legal issues unique to civilian law enforcement with military forces, issues regarding female involvement with a NATO operation, a NATO commander’s scope of authority, the manner in which NATO conducts exercises, and what legal issues are present in cyber operations.

Practical Application of Operational Law: Given references, students will demonstrate the ability to properly apply jus ad bellum, jus in bello, and NATO ROE by identifying legally appropriate courses of action in factual operational scenarios and presenting recommendations to other students.

Course Participants

Military officers (OF-1 through OF-5) or civilian equivalents who are assigned as a LEGAD to a NATO billet or a national billet that requires involvement with NATO.

Language Proficiency: English 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Rank Requirements: NCO: Not eligible
Officer: OF-1 thru OF-5


The one-week course is built around three general daily themes – International Law Refresher, NATO Operational Planning, and NATO Operational Legal topics. Specific topics falling under the applicable theme are presented in order to build towards a scenario-based operational law exercise. Conducted in syndicates, students work with a dedicated mentor to develop answers for a set of questions. Each syndicate presents its answers to the reunited course and discusses how they reached their conclusions.