Analysis

The respect and implementation of the right to truth by armed non-state actors

It is well known that the truth is an essential value in transitional justice processes (TJP), and it is one of its areas of action together with justice, reparation, guarantees of non-repetition and memorialization processes (UN Report 2020). Since the right to truth has been recognized, it has evolved and nowadays it is widely recognized …

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Women’s Involvement in Jihadi Armed Groups through the Study of Armed Groups’ Practices: From Hamas to ISIS – Part II

Introduction This part of a two-part blog post tries to evidence the evolution of the perception of women’s involvement in armed non-state actors (hereinafter ANSAs) to engage in jihad. It contrasts with the first part, which analyses classical Islamic Law sources and their general discouragement for women’s participation in jihad -with any role-. This post tries to evidence …

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Women Combatants in Jihad under Islamic Law: Doctrines, Justifications, and Misconceptions – Part I

Introduction  Following the atrocities committed by armed non-state actors (ANSAs hereinafter) in the Syrian conflict, Islamic Law is on the agenda for the promotion of peace and accountability. Moreover, the foreign fighters’ momentum raises many questions around the membership of women in ANSAs, particularly jihadi groups. Recent practices of States amending their legislation to broaden their extraterritorial …

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To what extent is international criminal law still primarily concerned with prosecuting crimes connected to the state?

In 2018, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted Jean-Pierre Bemba, President and Commander of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo, in relation to charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Similarly, Bosco Ntaganda, the leader of a Congolese militia group fighting in the Ituri Region of the Democratic …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – Author Response to Contributors

It is both terribly pleasing and terrifying to be invited to have a book symposium around a recent book. A substantive conversation with a group of diverse, insightful, and engaged readers is exactly the kind of exercise that academia should more systematically foster, but in reality most of us are over-solicited in too many different …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – Rebel Courts and the Rule of Law

Some years ago, when I was doing research on rebel governance, I heard a story about a truck driver going from Syria to Iraq through ISIS-held territory. He paid customs duties to ISIS, and continued on to the area controlled by the Iraqi state. When he reached a government checkpoint, the Iraqi officials honored his …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – Legality of Rebel Courts? An Assessment of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the Taliban in Afghanistan

When armed groups in zones of armed conflict succeed in conquering territories and establishing their control thereupon, they often (though not always) proceed to engage in practices of governance (Arjona et al. 2015). As part of their effort at (insurgent) governance, armed groups can opt to intervene in a variety of tasks, such as the provision …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – Do Rebel Courts Need to be “Established by Law”? The Conundrum of “Regular Constitution”

Article 3 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions (CA 3) prohibits “[T]he passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples”. Unfortunately, the 1949 Conventions, including their travaux preparatoires, are silent on what is meant by …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – Rebel Courts: A Tour de Force

Professor René Provost’s new book Rebel Courts: The Administration of Justice by Armed Insurgents is a must read for anyone dealing with or interested in the topic addressed and with non-State armed groups (NSAGs) more broadly. Its focus on a little-explored facet of rebel governance is primarily normative and conceptual, but is underpinned by a fascinating review …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – Rebel Justice Can Be Music to My Ears

Recently, I was asked by a prominent activist for the rights of indigenous peoples whether international law prohibited the taking up of arms when all other measures had failed. Her eyes lit up when I pointed to the third recital in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: ‘Whereas it is essential, if man is not …

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