About the author(s):
ATHA Live Launch Event: Internal Disturbance, Organized Violence and Armed Conflict
28th September, 10am, EDT, click here to register:
Humanitarian actors increasingly find themselves in contexts where the application of the norms and concepts of international humanitarian law (IHL) is contested. In particular, those working in possible situations of non-international armed conflict are often faced with the fact that it can be far from clear whether or not there exists a situation of armed conflict, which is required for the application of IHL. Especially in cases of armed insurgencies, spill-over conflicts, riots, urban violence, or violence in fragile states, the application of IHL may be disputed, resulting in a lack of clarity as to the applicable norms, and the obligations parties have with regard to the use of lethal force, the protection of civilians, detention practices, and other issues.
PHAP Online Learning Series on Humanitarian Law and Policy – Protection of Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflicts, Kristin Hausler
29th September, 3pm, CET, click here to register:
In addition to the loss of human life and creating severe humanitarian crises, the destruction of cultural heritage has played a prominent role in the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and in the recent conflict in Mali. For example, this issue recently came into the spotlight in September 2015, when the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor’s Office opened the first ever war crime case for destruction of cultural heritage during the 2012 military coup d’état in Mali, where rebel groups considerably damaged Timbuktu’s cultural sites and historical monuments.In this learning session, Kristin Hausler of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) will provide an introduction to the current legal frameworks that protect cultural heritage during both international and non-international armed conflicts, and how they apply to state actors and non-state armed groups. NB: Interestingly, this learning session is taking place two days after the judgment in the Al-Mahdi case (which is being issued today) so it may provide an opportunity to discuss the judgement. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was charged with – and has pleaded guilty to – the war crime charge of destroying historical and religious monuments in Timbuktu (Mali).
Translating IHL into military operations, ICRC Law and Policy Event, Panel Discussion
4th October, 6pm, CED, click here to register:
Where do we stand with regard to translating IHL into coherent operational guidance and rules of engagement that are not only legally accurate, but also relevant and effective in contemporary armed conflicts? How can military commanders make sure their operations remain within the confines of the law? What changes in the political sphere would be conducive to generating greater respect for the law?
To discuss these and related questions, the ICRC has invited four renowned experts to offer their insights at a panel discussion, on 4 October 2016 in Geneva:
- Richard Jackson, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University, and Former Special Assistant to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General for the Law of War Matters
- Andrew Carswell, Senior delegate to the Armed Forces, ICRC
- Lone Kjelgaard, Senior Assistant Legal Adviser at the NATO Office of Legal Affairs
- Charles Garraway, Colonel, Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.
The discussion will be moderated by Jamie Williamson, Head of Unit, Relations with Arms Carriers, ICRC.
PHAP Online Learning Series on Humanitarian Law and Policy – the Legal Dilemma of Detention in a NIAC, Gabor Rona
15 November 2016, 3pm CET, click here to register:-
Understanding the legal bases for detention of combatants is important for those working in situations of armed conflict, even if they are not focusing on the issue in their work. However, while detention in international armed conflicts is regulated in detail under international humanitarian law (IHL), the situation in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) is less clear.
Knowing the basics of this topic and its current state of discussion has become essential. The debate has been further intensified after the ruling on the 2014 Serdar Mohammed case against UK authorities regarding unlawful detention, in which IHL was considered neither authorizing nor regulating detention in NIACs. The issue becomes further complicated when dealing with internationalized NIACs as in Iraq or Afghanistan, where the application of international human rights law or domestic law by one state in the territory of another state has been questioned.