Liber Amicorum in Memory of Avril McDonald

About the author(s):

Rogier is a researcher at the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA) and works at the Dutch National Prosecutor’s Office. He holds LL.M-degrees from Utrecht University and the University of Nottingham. Before taking up his current positions, he was an associate legal officer in Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and a legal adviser at the International Humanitarian Law Division of the Netherlands Red Cross.

Rogier is an adjunct-lecturer at the Hague University of Applied Sciences, where he teaches international humanitarian law, and he co-convenes the Hague Initiative for Law and Armed Conflict.

Three years ago, humanitarian lawyer Avril McDonald suddenly passed away. As a friend and IHL and ICL scholar, she was a great inspiration; or as she is referred to in the now published liber amicorum commemorating her passion and scholarship: “a lit beacon”. In Armed Conflict and International Law: In Search of the Human Face, fourteen of her colleagues and friends honour Avril’s work and contributions to IHL proper, the enforcement of IHL, as well as international human rights law and the law of armed control law (see below and here for a table of contents).

In my chapter, I focus on the two fields that Avril mainly worked in: international humanitarian law and international criminal law. She was an ardent supporter of the fight against impunity for war crimes, for example with regards to Israeli actions during Operation Cast Lead, but at the same time she urged for the international jurisprudence not lose sight of the realistic balance between humanitarian considerations and military necessity that IHL is based on.

For the readers of this blog, the contributions by Sasha Radin (editor of the Stockton e-portal on IHL/LOAC) on the current relevance of the recognition of belligerency and by Charles Garraway, who discussed the divide between armed conflict and law enforcement action, may be of particular relevance.


Table of Contents

Part I In Search of Humanitarian Principles

1 Fighting by the Principles: Principles as a Source of International Humanitarian Law – Jeroen C. van den Boogaard

2 Chivalry: A Principle of the Law of Armed Conflict? – Terry Gill

3 Military Robots and the Principle of Humanity: Distorting the Human Face of the Law? – Hanna Brollowski

4 Some Reflections on Self-defence as an Element in Rules of Engagement – Frits Kalshoven and Thyla Fontein

5 The Current Relevance of the Recognition of Belligerency – Sasha Radin

Part II The Human Face by Topic

6 In Search of a Human Face in the Middle East: Addressing Israeli Impunity for War Crimes  – Jeff Handmaker

7 Doctors in Arms: Exploring the Legal and Ethical Position of Military Medical Personnel in Armed Conflicts  – Brigit Toebes

8 Saving the Past, Present and Future. Thoughts on Mobilising International Protection for Cultural Property During Armed Conflict – Pita J. C. Schimmelpenninck van der Oije

9 Watching the Human Rights Watchers – Roelof Haveman

Part III Making it Real: In Search of Ways to Apply Justice

10 Armed Conflict and Law Enforcement: Is There a Legal Divide? – Charles Garraway

11 Friend or Foe? On the Protective Reach of the Law of Armed Conflict – Jann K. Kleffner

12 Seeking the Truth About Serious International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Violations: The Various Facets of a Cardinal Notion of Transitional Justice – Théo Boutruche

13 La responsabilité pénale des autorités politiques pour des crimes de droit international humanitair (DIH) – Eric David

14 Discrepancies Between International Humanitarian Law on the Battlefield and in the Courtroom: The Challenges of Applying International Humanitarian Law During International Criminal Trial – Rogier Bartels

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