Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law – OUP

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin

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.

CoverWe’ve advertised lots of books on this blog since I started it in 2012, so I hope readers will forgive me for mentioning my own book here –  The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law. It came out 10 days ago with the OUP.

The writing of this book was motivated out of the observation that although there is a continuing academic debate about when armed groups can have obligations under international human rights law, the practice of armed groups being held accountable under human rights law by Commissions of Inquiry, Special Rapporteurs etc. only seems to gather pace.

Arguing that it will impossible to achieve ‘accountability’ unless it is based on a solid legal framework, I set out to bring greater clarity and understanding to the circumstances in which armed groups may be bound by human rights law. I address the debate on this topic by employing a theoretical, historical and comparative analysis that spans international humanitarian law, international criminal law and criminal law. Embedding these different inquiries in public international law, I seek to achieve clarity about when and how armed groups can acquire legal personality under human rights law.

The table of the contents of the book is as follows:-

  1. Introduction
  2. Added Value of Application of International Human Rights Law to Armed Groups
  3. Evaluative Framework: Legal Personality under International Law
  4. The Law on Belligerency and Insurgency and International Legal Prsonality
  5. International Humanitarian Law and International Legal Personality
  6. International Legal Personality of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law
  7. How are Armed Groups Bound by International Humanitarian Law?
  8. Armed Groups and Treaty Law
  9. Control of Territory and Human Rights Obligations of Armed Groups
  10. Armed Groups and Crimes against Humanity
  11. Armed Groups and Customary International Human Rights Law
  12. Conclusions

My thanks go to all the people without whose support the book would never have been written. Special thanks go to Professor Andrew Clapham who kindly wrote the foreword.

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