The end of non-international armed conflicts and the application of IHL

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.

The past few weeks, several ceasefire and peace agreements were concluded in a number of non-international armed conflict situations: in South-Sudan, the Philippines and Myanmar. However, as is often the case when there are peace talks or even peace agreements in a country, the fighting between the opposing sides does not (immediately) cease. In South-Sudan, the fighting between the government forces and the rebels continued during the signing of the agreement (see here) and yesterday, in what is reported on as “fresh fighting”, the rebels tried to re-take a northern provincial capital (see here and here). The government of the Philippines and the largest Muslim rebel group, the MILF, agreed on a peace deal on 25 January 2014, but the fighting between the government forces and another armed opposition group (called BIFF) continuesas the latter does not agree to the conditions of the peace agreement (see here and here).

The Syrian negotiations in Geneva have not yet resulted in any success, apart from the humanitarian corridor that allowed the evacuation of civilians from Homs. On the other hand, the peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC appear to be more successful and the longstanding non-international armed conflict may well end in the near future. be more more realistic (although also here the fighting continues, see e.g. here).

Yesterday and today, a two-part guest contribution of mine was posted on Opinio Juris, in which I discuss the end of the temporal scope of the law applicable to the fighting in non-international armed conflicts, i.e. IHL, and when such conflicts can be considered as ended (see here and here for the two parts).

These posts deal with an argument that I made at a conference on the concept of jus post bellum, organised by the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies in June 2012, that is expanded on in a chapter in the book Jus Post Bellum: Mapping the Normative Foundations, edited by Carsten Stahn, Jennifer Easterday and Jens Iverson (see here for the SSRN version of my chapter). When I drafted the Opinio Juris post, the book was not yet published (and I actually did not expect it any time real soon), but it was brought to my attention that the book came out a few days ago (well done to the editors!).

Below, you will find the table of contents of the book. More information about the book is available here, and an SSRN version of Jens’s introductory chapter can be found here.

Table of contents

Carsten Stahn, Jennifer S. Easterday, and Jens Iverson: Introduction

Part 1. Foundation and Conceptions of Jus Post Bellum

(i) Foundation, Concept, and Function

1: Larry May: Jus Post Bellum, Grotius, and Meionexia

2: Mark Evans: At War’s End: Time To Turn to Jus Post Bellum?

3: Dieter Fleck: Jus Post Bellum as a Partly Independent Legal Framework

4: James Gallen: Jus Post Bellum: An Interpretive Framework

(ii) Jus Post Bellum and Related Concepts

5: Jens Iverson: Jus Post Bellum and Transitional Justice

6: Carsten Stahn: R2P and Jus Post Bellum: Towards a Polycentric Approach

(iii) Jus Post Bellum and Its Discontents

7: Eric de Brabandere: The Concept of Jus Post Bellum in International Law: A Normative Critique

8: Roxana Vatanparast: Waging Peace: Ambiguities, Contradictions, and Problems of a Jus Post Bellum Legal Framework

9: Fionnuala Ní Aoláin & Dina Haynes: The Compatibility of Justice for Women with Jus Post Bellum Analysis

Part 2. Reconceptualising ‘Bellum’ and ‘Pax’

10: Christine Bell: Of Jus Post Bellum and Lex Pacificatoria: What’s in a Name?

11: Inger Österdahl: The Gentle Modernizer of the Law of Armed Conflict?

12: Gregory Fox: Navigating the Unilateral/Multilateral Divide

13: Kristen Boon: The Application of Jus Post Bellum in Non-International Armed Conflict

14: Astri Suhrke: Post-War States: Differentiating Patterns of ‘Peace’

Part 3. Dilemmas of the ‘Post’

(i) Dilemmas of Classification

15: Jann Kleffner: Temporal Dimensions of Jus Post Bellum: Some Dilemmas and Possible Responses

16: Rogier Bartels: From Jus in Bello to Jus Post Bellum: When do Non-International Armed Conflicts End?

(ii) Institutional Dilemmas and Strategies

17: Martin Wählisch: Conflict Termination from a Human Rights Perspective: State Transitions, Power-Sharing, and the Definition of the ‘Post’

18: Yaël Ronen: Post-Occupation Law

19: Dominik Zaum: The Norms and Politics of Exit: Ending Post-Conflict Transitional Administrations

20: Freya Baetens: Facilitating Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Is the UN Peacebuilding Commission Successfully Filling an Institutional Gap or Marking a Missed Opportunity?

Part 4. The ‘Jus’ in Jus Post Bellum

21: Jennifer S. Easterday: Jus Post Bellum, Peace Agreements, and Constitution Making

22: Dov Jacobs: Targeting the State in Jus Post Bellum: Towards a Theory of Integrated Sovereignties

23: Matthew Saul: Creating Governments in the Aftermath of War: Is there a Role for International Law?

24: Aurel Sari: The Status of Foreign Armed Forces Deployed in Post-Conflict Environments: A Search for Basic Principles

25: Cymie Payne: The Norm of Environmental Integrity in Post-Conflict Legal Regimes

26: Frédéric Mégret: Should Rebels Be Amnestied?

Jens Iverson, Jennifer S. Easterday, and Carsten Stahn: Epilogue: Jus Post Bellum – Strategic Analysis and Future Directions

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