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.

Ezequiel Heffes is the Director of Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict in New York. Prior to joining Watchlist, Ezequiel worked for Geneva Call as a Senior Policy and Legal Advisor and for the ICRC in various operational positions in Colombia, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He holds a PhD from the University of Leiden, an LLM in IHL and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy, and a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Law. He has widely published on different international law issues. Ezequiel is the author of Detention by Non-State Armed Groups under International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2022) and the co-editor of International Humanitarian Law and Non-State Actors. Debates, Law and Practice (Springer/Asser Press, 2020).

It is our great pleasure to announce that Florian Weigand, Anki Sjoberg, Saeed Bagheri and Jelena Aparac have joined the editorial board of the Armed Groups and International Law blog from September 2023.

Now that the Armed Groups and International Law blog is nearly 11 years old, we are both of the view that it will be to its benefit to be run by a bigger editorial board that brings with it a diversity of backgrounds, networks and interests. In line with the blog’s longtime aim to (i) share information and (ii) community build between individuals and organisations working on issues related to armed groups and international law, we are delighted to welcome the following individuals to the board.

  • Dr Florian Weigand is Co-Director of the Centre on Armed Groups and a Research Associate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on conflict zones, borderlands and other complex environments, how they function and are governed. Florian is the author of ‘Waiting for Dignity: Legitimacy and Authority in Afghanistan’ (Columbia University Press, 2022) and ‘Conflict and Transnational Crime: Borders, Bullets & Business in Southeast Asia’ (Edward Elgar, 2020). He also is the co-editor of the ‘Routledge Handbook of Smuggling’ (Routledge, 2021).
  • Dr. Jelena Aparac has over 15 years of professional experience in the field of international peace and security and human rights. She is a former Chair Rapporteur, member of the UN Working Group on the use of Mercenaries and a leading expert on Business and Human Rights in Armed Conflicts. Dr. Aparac is the author of the book “Business et droits de l’homme dans les conflits armés” and many other publications. She is a member of the editorial board of the Business and Human Rights Journal and has given lectures at leading academic institutions around the world. As a member of the International Expert Group on International Criminal Law and Climate Change, Dr. Aparac contributed to drafting the crime of ecocide together with the leading experts. Prior to this, Dr. Aparac worked for MSF as legal advisor and in field missions in situations of armed conflict, including South Sudan, Chad/Darfur, the DRC and the Central African Republic. She holds a PhD from the University of Paris Nanterre and an LLM from the Geneva Academy. In 2022 Dr Jelena Aparac was selected as a member of the UN Senior Women Talent Pipeline promoting women in UN senior leadership positions.
  • Dr Saeed Bagheri is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in International Law at the University of Reading School of Law, where he also held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from 2019-2021. Prior to joining the University of Reading, he was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) from 2017-2019. Saeed conducts research in the law on the use of force and international humanitarian law and teaches across a range of modules on law programs. He is the author of International Law and the War with Islamic State: Challenges for Jus ad Bellum and Jus in Bello (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2021).
  • Ann-Kristin “Anki” Sjöberg is the Co-Director and Founder of Fight for Humanity, focusing on extending human rights to armed and political actors, especially armed groups. She has over 15 years of experience from working in the non-profit sector on issues linked to conflict, security, armed groups, and gender. She holds a PhD in International Relations focused on Political Science from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.

Their combined scholarship and experience as practitioners will be incredibly valuable in identifying and publishing cutting edge scholarship on issues related to armed groups and international law and we are thrilled to have them onboard.  Welcome!






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