Call for Papers: “The Changing Nature of Peacekeeping: Challenges for Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello and Human Rights” – A Joint ESIL IGPS/SHARES Project Symposium

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

University of ViennaThe European Society of International Law Interest Group on Peace and Security (ESIL IGPS) and the Research Project on Shared Responsibility in International Law (SHARES Project) are organizing a joint symposium to be held in conjunction with the 10th ESIL Anniversary Conference in Vienna, Austria, on 3 September 2014.

The symposium, entitled “The Changing Nature of Peacekeeping: Challenges for Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello and Human Rights”, is organized against the background of an ongoing evolution in UN peacekeeping operations especially in relation with the increasing number of missions for the protection of civilians, the robust use of force mandate given by the UN Security Council to some peacekeeping missions and the recent creation of “offensive” combat forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Intervention Brigade) and Mali (MINUSMA). The more expansive mandates of peacekeeping forces raise critical questions pertaining to the law applicable to such forces, and the allocation of responsibility in situations where members of peacekeeping forces act in contravention of their international obligations.The symposium will discuss whether there indeed is a major shift in UN peacekeeping practice and will explore important questions of international law raised by these new practices.

In particular, it will examine the applicability of jus ad bellum, jus in bello and human rights that impact on the UN, troop contributing states, the host state, and non-state armed actors. It also will explore whether the rules of international responsibility are sufficiently developed to assign responsibility to the Security Council and/or member states for actions taken where peacekeepers are engaged in the robust use of force or armed conflict. In this context it will also seek to address issues of shared responsibility that may arise from the interplay among these actors and to consider how the new practices may pose new challenges in determining and apportioning responsibility among states, international organizations and non-state actors.

Please submit a 500 words abstract proposal via email to Prof. Theodore Christakis ( and Dr. Ilias Plakokefalos ( by 4 May. The proposal should also include the author’s name and affiliation, the author’s brief CV and contact details, and should indicate whether the author is an ESIL member. Please note that submission of abstracts is open to ESIL members and non ESIL members, but the organizers will seek a balanced representation of ESIL members on the program of the event. Please submit all these elements in a single pdf document. Successful applicants will be informed by 15 May.
Please note that unfortunately, the ESIL IGPS and SHARES Project are not in a position to cover expenses for travelling and accommodation, or to waive the ESIL conference fee. Information on the 10th ESIL Anniversary Conference is available here.

Please also note that the intention of the ESIL IGPS and SHARES Project is to publish the best papers in a book, special issue of a law journal and/or the ESIL IGPS/SHARES Project webpages. Participants are required to send an extended outline of their paper by 25 August.

For related posts on this issue on the Armed Groups blog see:-

The DRC’s UN Intervention Brigade has a mission to “neutralize armed groups”: why the scepticism?



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