Call for Papers from Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law – Vol 18 (2015)

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.

YIHLThe editorial board of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law has issued the following call for papers:-

General theme: Contemporary Armed Conflicts and their Implications for International Humanitarian Law

The changing nature of contemporary armed conflicts, both in terms of actors involved and means employed, has important implications for the continuing relevance of international humanitarian law (IHL) as the legal framework governing the conduct of the parties.

A few challenges:

? The expansion of the entity known as “Islamic State” (IS/ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Iraq and the military efforts to fight it raise a number of legal issues, including the role of IHL as a tool to regulate the action of a party which recognises no universal legal framework whatsoever.
? Russia’s alleged support to separatists and use of infiltration tactics in Eastern Ukraine, represent another challenge when it comes to determine its responsibilities in terms of compliance with IHL.? The direct involvement of regional powers and their use of proxies in Syria and Iraq, as well as in other countries in the region such as Libya and Yemen, has important implications in terms of responsibility for arms transfers and support to States, rebels and militias.
? The violence in Mexico also raises some challenges in terms of the applicability, scope and relevance of IHL: is there an argument for rethinking the threshold of armed conflict in relation to large scale criminal violence by organised armed criminal groups?? The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation highlights complex issues of international law and the interaction between State sovereignty, self-determination and IHL, in particular the rules on occupation.
? Other ideas may relate to: The law of occupation in Crimea; The status of “volunteers” under IHL, both in Syria and Iraq as well as in Ukraine; Targeting of IS oil facilities; Increased attacks on humanitarian workers and challenges to the delivery of humanitarian aid; Extraterritorial targeting by use of armed drones; Targeting of cultural property as a specific method of warfare, for example by IS in Syria and Iraq and by jihadist groups in Mali; The threshold of armed conflict in peacekeeping operations (for instance in Eastern DRC, Mali and the CAR) and possible convergence of the positions of UN and ICRC.? One of the central issues in the ongoing negotiations between government and FARC rebels in Colombia is amnesty for both FARC and paramilitary leaders for ordering and directing violations of IHL.

These are only but a few examples of the implications of contemporary armed conflicts for IHL.

You are requested to send your submission, related to one of the above themes, or any other theme fitting the general theme of Vol. 18, before 1 October 2015, to YIHL Editorial Board member Dr. Christophe Paulussen, who will assist you with further questions concerning next steps, author’s guidelines etc. The Editorial Board aims to publish Vol. 18 (year 2015) in December 2016.

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