Call for papers: 11th Annual Minerva-ICRC International Conference on Contemporary Challenges in IHL

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.

The Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Israel and the Occupied Territories are organizing an international conference that seeks to explore cutting-edge issues in the field of international humanitarian law (IHL). The conference, the eleventh in the series of Minerva-ICRC Annual International Conferences on IHL, is scheduled for 28-29 November 2016 in Jerusalem. Recipients of this call for papers are invited to submit proposals to present an original paper at the conference. Authors of selected proposals will be offered full or partial flight and accommodation expenses.

Submission deadline: 1 July 2016

Background: Contemporary conflict patterns have created a myriad of complex issues in the field of international humanitarian law, which the 11th Annual Minerva-ICRC Conference on International Humanitarian Law seeks to address. In armed conflicts across the globe, civilians continue to bear the brunt of the hostilities, especially when fighting takes place in densely populated areas or when civilians are deliberately targeted. Thousands of people are being detained, often outside of any legal framework and are often subjected to ill treatment or inadequate conditions of detention. The number of persons displaced as a result of armed conflict is also dramatic and the number of internally displaced persons, refugees and asylum seekers uprooted by ongoing armed conflicts worldwide has soared in the past two years. Additionally, the increase in the number and complexity of parties to a conflict is a noticeable feature of contemporary armed conflicts. On the State side, the number of foreign interventions in many ongoing armed conflicts contributes substantially to the multiplication of actors involved. In parallel, on the non-State side, a myriad of fluid, multiplying and fragmenting armed groups frequently take part in the fighting. The spillover of hostilities into neighboring countries, their geographical expanse and their regionalization have also become a distinctive feature of many contemporary armed conflicts – partly as a consequence of foreign involvements. Violations of IHL, committed both by States and non-State actors continue to be a primary feature of contemporary conflicts. In many situations, this is linked to a denial of the applicability or relevance of IHL. On the part of non-State armed groups, there is sometimes a rejection of IHL, which some parties do not feel bound by. In addition to this, recent armed conflicts have seen a rise in the deliberate commission of violations of IHL by some non-State armed groups and their use of media to publicize those violations. On the part of States, it is often, though not always, the result of counterterrorism measures and discourses, which seem to be hardening with time. It remains the case that some States deny the existence of armed conflicts, rendering dialogue difficult on the humanitarian consequences of the conflict and the protection of those affected by it. Against this backdrop, the conference academic committee invites recipients to submit proposals to present a paper at the conference dealing with one of the following contemporary challenges of IHL:

• Rights and obligations of non-State armed groups;

• IHL and vulnerable groups of persons (including asylum seekers, women, minors, etc.);

• Enforcement and implementation of IHL by States;

• IHL and the environment;

• The development of IHL in national and international jurisprudence.

The committee also welcomes additional proposals on other relevant and contemporary issues in the field of IHL.

Submissions: Researchers interested in addressing these and other issues are invited to respond to this call for papers with a 1-2 page proposal for an article and presentation, along with a brief CV. Proposals should be submitted by email to the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( no later than 1 July 2016. Applicants should expect notification of the committee’s decision by 1 August 2016. Written contributions (of approx. 10-25 pages) based on the selected proposals will be expected no later than 1 November 2016.

The Israel Law Review (a Cambridge University Press publication) has expressed interest in publishing selected full length papers based on conference presentations, subject to its standard review and editing procedures.

Conference Academic Committee: Prof. Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Chair) Mr. Larry Maybee, ICRC, Israel and the Occupied Territories Prof. Yaël Ronen, Israel Law Review, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Dr. Re’em Segev, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Mr. Charles Shamas, The Mattin Group Adv. Danny Evron, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Adv. Miya Keren-Abraham, ICRC, Israel and the Occupied Territories Adv. Alon Margalit, ICRC, Israel and the Occupied Territories

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