AHRI Conference 2019 Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law: Challenges Ahead – Call for papers

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.

Please find below the text of the call:-

As the largest inter-disciplinary and general research conference on human rights, the AHRI 2019 Conference (6th-7th September 2019 in Potsdam, Germany) welcomes both individual papers and panels exploring the themes set out below. The 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 gave rise to the leading overall theme  “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law:  Challenges Ahead”, but proposals do not need to be limited to that because the AHRI research conference will be a general platform for discussing new human rights research issues.  The six primary tracks allow to deal with a broad variety of questions linked to the overall theme of the conference. Preference will be given to strong proposals falling within one of the following tracks, under which several panels will be organised. The following list is not exhaustive, but more illustrative in character. Additional topics or proposals are therefore welcome. Contributions to these topics are appreciated not only from a legal perspective, but also from philosophical, political, sociological and other viewpoints.

1.Historical Development

This track wants to make use of a historical perspective on the two bodies of law. How did they evolve over time and influence each other, and which actors influenced the development under which circumstances?

1) Namibia and beyond: the applicability of IHL and IHRL in colonial situations: past, present and current repercussions  

2) Cross-fertilization revisited: the history of the impact of IHRL on IHL and vice versa  

 3) Actors of the historical development of IHRL and IHL compared: States, international organizations and beyond 

2. General Questions 

In this track, we welcome submissions discussing implications on the doctrine of international law. Do we face a fragmentation with consequences for the interpretation of the bodies of law? Or, on the contrary, will a common framework emerge?

1) IHL and IHRL: two fundamentally divergent epistemological communities – are we still speaking the same language?

2) Interpreting IHL and IHRL norms: do the same methods apply?

3) Extraterritorial application of human rights obligations: any limits left?

4) Applying IHL over time: the case of long-term situations of belligerent occupation

5) Status of forces agreements and human rights obligations of the receiving State

6) Developing monitoring mechanisms in IHL: what lessons are to be learnt from IHRL?

7) Legal obligations for non-state actors: can IHL and IHRL learn from each other?

3. Institutions

Who provides substantial interpretations of the applicable law? Human rights bodies and courts tend to favour an extensive interpretation of human rights and, increasingly, give interpretations of international law from such an extended human rights perspective. What are the consequences for IHL and the traditionally driving forces in that area, the ICRC and States, as well as for the ICC?

1) Politicized application of IHL? – the case of the Human Rights Council

2) Issues of IHL before regional human rights courts

3) Human treaty bodies and IHL

4) Impact of IHRL on the jurisprudence of the ICC

5) ICRC and IHRL

4. Specific Situations 

International and non-international armed conflicts, as well as peace operations may threaten human rights and thus lead to specific challenges for international human rights law. Informational warfare and cyber activities did add a new dimension.

1) Unmanned weapons, artificial intelligence and IHRL

2) Naval blockades and social and economic rights

3) Peace-keeping operations and human rights obligations

4) Information warfare and human rights obligations

5) Cultural and religious identities during armed conflicts

 5. Specific Groups and Rights

This track welcomes submissions looking at the implications of situations of armed conflicts for vulnerable groups such as women or children, refugees or detainees. A second focus may shed light on specific human rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of information that may be infringed during armed conflicts or situations of occupation.

1) Detainees in non-international armed conflicts

2) CEDAW and women in situations of armed conflict

3) CRC and children in situations of armed conflict

4) Situations of armed conflict and disappearances: what obligations do apply under IHL and under human rights law?

5) Refugees and (internally) displaced persons in situations of armed conflict

6) Freedom of information and the press and freedom of assembly in armed conflict

 6. Jus Post Bellum

Peace processes do not end once a peace agreement has been signed. Post-conflict situations need specific investments in order to achieve a lasting peace. Are there implications on the human rights of all groups of the population? In this section, we might also deal with questions of transitional justice.  

1) Reaching peace: an inherent limitation of human rights obligations? 

2) Protecting vulnerable ethnic groups and minorities in post-conflict situations

3) Dealing with persons responsible for human rights and IHL violations: do the same standards apply?  

4) What remedies for IHL violations lessons learnt from IHRL?

Abstracts are to be submitted via the following link: https://www.unipotsdam.de/en/ahri2019/about-the-conference/call-for-papers.html (open from 15th February 2019 onwards).

Further information available at: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/ahri2019.html

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