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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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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – The Prosecution of Conflict-related Offences by Courts of Armed Groups

René Provost’s latest book, Rebel Courts, addresses the numerous legal issues surrounding courts established by non-state armed groups in armed conflict. Combining a legal pluralistic methodology with field work and case studies, Provost’s analysis of rebel courts ranges from the legality of their establishment, to the applicable law and due process guarantees, to the recognition of …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – The Paradoxical Recognition of Rebel Rule

Are the courts administered by rebel groups, the people who participate in them, and the decisions made in them, recognizable by other legal venues, such as states or international courts, whose legitimacy is rarely questioned? René Provost takes up these questions in the fourth part of his book, Rebel Courts: The Administration of Justice by Armed …

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“Rebel Courts” Book Symposium – Discipline and Order

Timbuktu is a 2014 Franco-Mauritanian film set in the iconic Malian city. This is a repressed Timbuktu, however, a space occupied by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA). The NMLA fought the Malian government in the north of the country. This jihadist movement, linked to Al Qaeda, imposed through its Ansar Dine (a …

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Book Launch – Detention and Confinement in Armed Conflict

On May 31st, at 20:00 (CET) /2pm (EDT) ALMA is holding a virtual book launch on two important new books on Detention and Confinement in Armed Conflict. The two books are (i) “Detention by Non-State Armed Groups under International Law” by Ezequiel Heffes (one of our co-editors and Senior Policy and Legal Advisor at Geneva …

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Book symposium “Rebel Courts: The Administration of Justice by Armed Groups”: Introduction

A facet of the current war in Ukraine that has attracted less attention, understandably so in the circumstances, concerns transitional justice in Donetsk and Luhansk if Ukraine is able to fully repel Russian forces and regain control of all its national territory. Both Donetsk and Luhansk are self-proclaimed ‘people’s republics’ that have had de facto …

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