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Course Catalogue


NATO Operational Law Course

Conducted by COSEC


The aim of this course is to provide military and civilian legal advisors in national or NATO billets with Individual Training and Education focused upon operational law issues relevant to current NATO activities and operations.


Duration: 1 Week
Course Structure: Resident (1)
Language: English 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Classification: NATO Secret
Discipline: ETE - Education,Training, Exercises & Evaluation
Area: LG - NATO Legal
Depth of Knowledge: 3 - Advance
ePrime No.: ACT.437
ETOC Code: ETE-LG-3689

Course Iterations

Code Course Dates Open Seats
N5-68-B-23 30 Oct 23 - 03 Nov 23
N5-68-A-24 29 Apr 24 - 03 May 24 Contact POC
N5-68-B-24 21 - 25 Oct 24 Contact POC

If you wish to join a resident 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.

ADL courses can be accessed without the need for enrolment but students are required to register through the JADL portal using a military/government email address otherwise they will not be accepted.

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 or civilian equivalents who are assigned as a LEGAD to a NATO billet or a national billet that requires involvement with NATO. (1 )Rank Level: NCO: not eligible (unless accepted by the NSO CD on a waiver basis) Officer: OF-1 through OF-6
Civilian: equivalencies to the NATO Rank options

Language Proficiency: English 3333 IAW STANAG 6001
Rank Requirements: NCO: Not eligible
Officer: OF-1 thru OF-6


The one-week course is built around these lessons – Navigation Rights, Status and Protection in a Maritime Context, International Maritime Law, Naval Targeting , Maritime Security and Law Envorcement Operations, Use of Force, Examine Maritime Interdiction Operations under International Law or Mandate, Ships without Nationality and the Right to Visit, Legal and Policy Issues of NATO Maritime Operations, NATO Rules of Engagement, NATO Status of Forces Agreement topics. Specific topics and case studies fall under the applicable lessons are presented in order to build towards a scenario-based operational law exercise and case studies. 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.