XXXVIII Round Table on current issues of International Humanitarian Law: “The Distinction between International and Non-International Armed Conflict: Challenges for IHL?”, Sanremo, 3-5 September 2015

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.


This year’s IHL round table in Sanremo will deal with the distinction between IACs and NIACs. The International Institute of Humanitarian Law, together with the ICRC, has put together an interesting programme. Besides the general distinction between the two types of armed conflict and classification questions, specific panels will address the: i) temporal and geographical scope of application of IHL; ii) the relationship between IHRL and IHL in IAC and NIAC; iii) the use of force in IAC and NIAC; iv) detention; v) convergence of the law governing IAC and NIAC; vi) humanitarian assistance; and vii) compliance with IHL.

Sanremo is an excellent place to immerge yourself for a few days in IHL, whilst at the same time being exposed to a quaint town on the Ligurian (Italy) coast, with great food and nice side-events. Going to the round table is a treat, every time.

This is the announcement on the IIHL website:

“By far the majority of armed conflicts occurring in the world today are non-international conflicts. The eyes of the world are on the violence in Syria, in Iraq and in the Yemen, for example. But such conflicts also have international aspects.

There is growing concern about the way in which international law applies to all these forms of violence, whenever international or non-international. All these conflicts are governed by international humanitarian law. But the treaty law which applies to non-international conflicts is not as extensive as for State to State conflicts. International customary law plays a part.

But to what degree and under what conditions is the law applicable to non-international armed conflicts and should it be the same as for international conflict? What is the legal position when international and non-international conflicts are occurring in one country? And how can we improve the compliance of non-state armed groups with international humanitarian law? International human rights law also applies in armed conflicts. How does this body of rules apply in international and non-international conflicts?

The XXXVIII Round Table on current issues of International Humanitarian Law, jointly organized by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Sanremo from 3 to 5 September 2015, will examine and discuss these and other issues regarding international and non-international armed conflicts.”

Practical information can be found here, and the registration form here.

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