|Series of Blog Posts from Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict
|Three blogs, Intercross, EJIL:Talk!, and Lawfare, have published a series of posts arising from the discussions at the fourth annual “Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict" jointly hosted by ELAC.
The workshop, held in July 2016, brought together, a group of academic, military, and governmental experts from both sides of the Atlantic. The roundtable discussion, held under the Chatham House Rule, and which this year included participants from Australia was held over two days and examined contemporary questions of international law relating to military operations. It was organized and sponsored by the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations, the Washington DC & London delegations of International Committee of the Red Cross, the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas, and the Houston College of Law.
This year’s workhop placed a particular emphasis not only on some substantive issues relating to the conduct of hostilities (such as targeting of “war sustaining” objects and the principle of proportionality), but on procedural obligations arising under the law of armed conflict. The procedural obligations discussed include the obligations of parties: to engage in review of the lawfulness of detentions in the armed conflict; to guarantee fair trials for those prosecuted for offences related to the conflict; and to investigate suspected violations of the law of armed conflict. Discussion of these procedural obligations focused on the content and scope of these obligations. The sessions also examined the extent to which these obligations apply to (and are capable of being fulfilled in) non-international armed conflicts and non-state armed groups. Inevitably, the sessions also considered the relationship between the procedural obligations imposed by international humanitarian law and those which may arise under international human rights law. To what extent should the latter inform the former?
The blog series, which is available here, focused almost exclusively on procedural obligations in the law of armed conflict and on the principle of proportionality under International Humanitarian Law. Although proportionality imposes a substantive obligation on parties not to cause damage or casualties which are excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage, arguably, the attempts to achieve conformity with this obligation tend to be effected through particular processes and procedures .
|Heather Roff on Autonomous Weapons|
|“The New President Needs a Policy on Autonomous Weapons”
Op-ed by Heather M. Roff and Peter W. Singer
in Wired Magazine, September
Heather Roff was also invited by the Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems (The Hague August 28-29, 2016) to write a selection for code of conduct and provide best practices and policies to members of the IEEE, the AAAI and other technical organizations for the design of autonomous weapons technologies. Sponsored by the IEEE Symposium on Ethics of Autonomous Systems, SEAS Europe.
|Vuyelwa Kuuya appointed as Global Programme Manager of the United Nations Voices of Future Generation’s Project on Children’s Rights and Sustainable Development (VoFG)|
|Since its inception in 2014, the
Programme has managed to publish 3 books on the role of community
engagement in promoting better access to water and the preservation of
bio diversity in dessert communities; children with disabilities and
environmental protection. The programme, in co-ordination with various
agencies of the United Nations, including the Division on Sustainable
Development and the Commission on the Rights of the Child, has also
educated 2750 children from Africa, Latin America, the Pacific Islands,
the Middle East, Europe and North America on international child rights
and sustainable development.
See more here.
|Emanuela-Chiara Gillard published an ODI Policy Brief with Eva Svoboda on the Protection of Civilians|
| New HPG Policy Brief by Eva Svoboda (ODI) and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard (ELAC and
"Protection of civilians in armed conflict: bridging the gap between law and reality" (Oct 2015)
"Numerous laws – particularly International Humanitarian Law (IHL) – exist to protect civilians in conflicts by putting obligations on all parties to a conflict. At the same time, many NGOs have sought to mainstream protection in their programming. But conflicts continue to see systematic violations of IHL, causing untold suffering on the civilian population. This policy brief examines the gap between laws and reality and offers suggestions on how to bridge the divide. These include:
- Setting up an information gathering mechanism, like that on violations against children in armed conflicts, for other violations of IHL;
- Establishing a dedicated focal point on IHL in the UN, such as a Special Representative;
-Significantly strengthening the ‘Protection Standby Capacity’ – a roster of protection experts ready to be deployed to critical emergencies;
-Systematically incorporating IHL into military manuals and operational orders and directives."
|Discussion on Janina Dills' recent book Legitimate Targets? Social construction, International Law and US Bombing on EJIL Talk|
Talk published a discussion of Dr Janina Dill's recent book Legitimate
Targets? Social Construction, International Law and US Bombing,
Cambridge University Press.
Reviews by Jutta Brunnee (University of Toronto) and Geoffrey Corn (South Texas Law school) can be read here.
ELAC Annual Conference hosted by the Stockholm Center for the Ethics of
War and Peace
|The 2015 ELAC conference was
by the Stockholm
Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace on 28 and 29 August. This
year’s theme was Legitimate Authority
and Political Violence.
The speakers were Thomas Christiano, Daniel Viehoff, Jonathan Parry, Kimberley Brownlee, Helen Frowe, Malcolm Thorburn, David Rodin and Massimo Renzo.
Akande addressed a meeting of a cross-party parliamentary group on
September 16, Professor Dapo Akande addressed a meeting of a
cross-party parliamentary group on Drones. The meeting of the All-Party
Parliamentary Group on Drones was convened following Prime Minister
David Cameron’s announcement last week that the United Kingdom killed
two British citizens in a drone strike conducted in Syria last month by
the Royal Air Force.
For media coverage of the meeting see this report in the Guardian.
book edited by Serena K. Sharma and Jennifer M. Welsh: The
Responsibility to Prevent: Overcoming the Challenges of Atrocity
K. Sharma and Jennifer W. Welsh are pleased to announce the
publication of their new edited book The Responsibility to
Prevent: Overcoming the Challenges of Atrocity Prevention.
The book is based on research and writing carried out over four years
Akande's recent talks on Intenational Law in the UK and the Philippines
|In June Dapo Akande, was invited
speak at the UK Army Legal Services
Annual Conference on the legal
basis for detention in non-international armed conflict.
In the same week, he also gave the opening talk on the ” Sources of International Law” at the UK Government Legal Department’s inaugural training course on international law. The course, organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the GLD, was attended by government lawyers from across Whitehall.
In May, Dapo Akande addressed a workshop for Asian government officials with respect to the maritime disputes in the South China Seas between China and several South East Asian countries. The meeting was convened in Manila, Philippines, by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China to discuss the implementation of the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Seas.
|Hugo Slim's New Book: Humanitarian Ethics. A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster|
|ELAC is pleased to announce the
publication of Hugo Slim's most recent book: Humanitarian
Ethics. A Guide to the Morality of Aid in War and Disaster
(Hurst & Company, London)
‘In this brilliant and incisive work, Hugo Slim develops a much needed moral compass that helps aid workers, both seasoned and novice, to navigate the tensions between principle and practice — as well as the shoals of political manipulation in humanitarian action. An invaluable tool that should be in every humanitarian’s grab bag.’ — Antonio Donini, Tufts University (US)
|Hugo Slim on the increasing individualisation of humanitarian aid in armed conflicts|
|Hugo Slim reflects upon the
individualization of humanitarian aid in armed conflicts in a new blog
for the Individualization of War project.
Please find here his piece "Eye Scan Therefore I am: The Individualization of Humanitarian Aid"
|Hugo Slim appointed Head of Policy at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)|
|After four years leading work on
humanitarian ethics and the protection of civilians at ELAC, Hugo Slim
will be leaving Oxford in May to join ICRC's Law and Policy Division in
|Dapo Akande delivered the inaugural Thornberry Lecture in International Law and Human Rights at the University of Keele and on the topic: 'The Application of Human Rights Law in Time of Armed Conflict'.|
|On April 22, Dapo Akande
inaugural Thornberry Lecture in International Law and Human Rights at
the University of Keele and on the topic: 'The Application of Human Rights Law in Time
of Armed Conflict'.
A podcast of the lecture is accessible here: http://www.keele.ac.uk/law/research/researchnewsandevents/patrickthornberryannuallectures/
The Thornberry Lecture in International Law and Human Rights is an annual lecture established in 2015 by the Keele Law School and the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy in honour of Patrick Thornberry CMG - Emeritus Professor of International Law at Keele. From 2001-2014, Professor Thornberry was a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and acted as Rapporteur of that Committee from 2002-2008. In 2006, he was awarded a CMG – Companion of St Michael and St George – for services to international human rights, on the nomination of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
|Hugo Slim contributes opening chapter to the new Routledge Companion to Humanitarian Action|
|Hugo Slim contributes opening
Work: Globalizing the Ethics of Humanitarian Action" in the new
Routledge Companion to
This chapter analyses the development of humanitarian action in international relations and its normative commitment to protect the individual in armed conflict. See http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415844420/
Akande appointed to the international advisory panel to develop the
Restatement of the Law (Fourth) on the Foreign Relations Law of the US
|Professor Dapo Akande has been
to the international advisory panel of the American Law Institute’s
project to develop the Restatement of the Law (Fourth) on the Foreign
Relations Law of the United States.
This project will update the influential Restatement Third of The Foreign Relations Law of the United States which is nearly 30 years old. Initial topics for consideration include jurisdiction, the domestic effect of treaties, and sovereign immunity.
Akande appointed to the International Group of Experts for the
Development Tallinn Manual on the International Law Application to
Cyber Warfare (2nd ed.)
| Professor Dapo Akande has
appointed to the International Group of Experts for the development of
the 2nd edition of the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to
The Tallinn Manual is developed by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence based in Tallinn Estonia. Although it is developed under the auspices of the NATO centre it does not represent the official position of NATO, its member states or of the Centre but instead expresses the scholarly opinion of the group of experts acting in their personal capacities.
Akande's lecture on International Law and the Use of Force in Support
of Self-Determination Movements
| In April, Professor Dapo
Akande delivered the Susan N. and Augustus DiZerega Lecture at George
Washington University Law School.
The lecture titled “Does International Law Allow the Use of Force in Support of Self-Determination Movements” was also the Keynote lecture in an international conference on State Oppression, Violence Against Minorities and the Possibilities for Remedial Secession and Independence
Akande's interviewed on the BBC on legal issues arising in relation to
the current conflict in Yemen
|On April 7, Dapo Akande gave an
to the BBC World Service’s Newshour programme on legal issues arising
in relation to the current armed conflict in Yemen.
You can hear it at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02n4xv2.
The interview starts around 8.30 mins into the programme.
Dapo Akande on Detention in Armed Conflict
|In March, Professor Dapo Akande
delivered the Sir Ninian Stephen Visiting Fellow Public Lecture
at the University of Melbourne’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law.
His topic was “Detention in Armed Conflict: The Interaction between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law”.
Rességuier writes for HumEthNet on moral imperative and feelings in
|Anaïs Rességuier published a
reflection piece on ethics in humanitarian work: “A Moral imperative or
a bundle of feelings?” in the latest Newsletter (vol. 3 Iss.
1) of the Humanitarian Healthcare Ethics group (Canada).
The piece primarily interrogates the humanitarian imperative and the role of desires and feelings in humanitarian action.
Horsburgh's New Book: China and Global Nuclear Order
|Nicola Horsburgh is pleased to
announce the publication of her new book China and Global
Nuclear Order. From Estrangement to Active Engagement,
Oxford University Press, 2015.
In this book, Dr Horsburgh offers an empirically rich study of Chinese nuclear weapons behaviour and the impact of this behaviour on global nuclear politics since 1949.
A book launch will take place at St Anthony's College (University of Oxford) on 8 May 2015.
Leveringhaus and Dr Giacca's new report on Robotic Weapons
Alexander Leveringhaus (ELAC Research Fellow) and Gilles
(ELAC Research Associate) just published the new Oxford Martin School
policy paper, "Robo-Wars: The
Regulation of Robotic Weapons".
The report gives a clear and concise overview of the technological dimensions of robotic weapons as well as their treatment under existing international legal and ethical frameworks. It assesses the regulatory options currently under discussion, and recommends ways for states, manufacturers and the military to develop a suitable regulatory framework.
It is available here.
talks about the law and morality of war on "Inside the Issues"
Dr Janina Dill talks about the law,
morality, and strategy of war on 'Inside the Issues' at the Center for
International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Canada. The
conversation with CIGI Chair of Global Security David Welch touches on
analyses from her recently published book Legitimate Targets? Social Construction, International
Law and US Bombing, in particular the status of war under
international law, drone warfare, and sub-state conflict.
Video can be viewed here.
|Emanuela Gillard on International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Access|
Emanuela Gillard, ELAC Research Associate, gives two
on International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Access:
"Humanitarian Access: What are the rights? What are the
"Humanitarian Access in 21st Century Armed Conflict: Legal
Practical Lessons from Syria" Podcast of the presentation accessible here.
|Hugo Slim gives keynote lecture on humanitarian ethics at Quinnipiac University|
On 10 September, Hugo Slim delivered the keynote lecture on "The Ethics of Humanitarian Action" at Quinnipiac University in the US.
You can view the lecture here.
(Hugo Slim's lecture starts at about 15 min)
|Emanuela Gillard on the Law regulating cross-border relief operations, in the International Review of the Red Cross|
Emanuela Gillard, ELAC Senior Research Fellow, just published an article on the “Law regulating cross-border relief operations” in the International Review of the Red Cross.
In this article Emanuel Gillard addresses the main legal questions raised by cross-border relief operations, in particular “whose consent is required; what constitutes arbitrary withholding of consent; what the consequences of withholding of consent are, both for those wishing to provide assistance and for the parties withholding consent; and what alternatives exist for providing assistance in such circumstances."
|Series of international law blogs on International Law and Armed Conflict through the month of September|
Throughout September, some of the participants to the Second Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict are contributing to a series of blog posts focussing on specific topics that were addressed during the Workshop.
Three international law blogs, Intercross (the blog of the International Committee of the Red Cross), EJIL:Talk! (blog of the European Journal of International Law), and Lawfare, are coordinating the series, and hosting pieces arising from the workshop.
You can find the introductory post to the series, as well as the schedule of posts here.
|Report on the 2nd Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict|
The Report on the Second Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict is now available and can be accessed here.
The Workshop engaged in detailed discussion of a range of issues relating to the law that applies in situations of armed conflict. It was co-convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), ELAC and the Human Rights Programme for Future Generations (HRFG) and took place 17-18 July at the University of Oxford.
|UN report on the political and humanitarian context of the Syrian Crisis|
Hugo Slim, Lorenzo Trombetta and Anais Resseguier write a report on the political and humanitarian context of the Syrian Crisis for the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations Steering Group (IASC) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The report was commissioned by the IASC as part of the Syria CALL Initiative. It is available on ALNAP Syria Evaluation Portal here.
|Project on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict|
On 10-11 July 2014, the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC), and the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations (HRFG), together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), convened a meeting of legal experts as part of a joint project aimed at bringing greater clarity to certain aspects of the law regulating relief operations in situations of armed conflict. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a Guide to the Law Regulating Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict being prepared by ELAC and HRFG for OCHA.
The meeting was the latest in a series of consultations convened by OCHA, ELAC and HRFG in the implementation of a mandate given to OCHA by the United Nations Secretary-General in his November 2013 report to the UN Security Council on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Those consultations have largely taken place in meetings, held in Oxford, of legal experts drawn from United Nations agencies, NGOs, the ICRC, academics, the international judiciary, as well as those with experience in governments.
The Guide aims to present the rules of international law regulating humanitarian relief operations in situations of armed conflict, together with a commentary on those rules. It is intended to provide guidance to a variety of actors, including State and non-state parties to armed conflict, international and non-governmental organizations seeking to carry out relief operations, and the various relevant UN bodies, including the Security Council and General Assembly.
More details on the Project here.
|Janina Dill on "Israel’s Use of Law and Warnings in Gaza" in Opinio Juris|
Janina Dill contributed a post on Opinion Juris in
which she discusses Israel’s Use of Law and Warnings in Gaza.
|Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, co-convened by the ICRC, ELAC and the Human Rights Programme|
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), ELAC and the Human Rights Programme for Future Generations (HRFG) co-convened the Second Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict at the University of Oxford. The Workshop gathered a group of legal scholars, experts and practitioners from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel to engage in detailed discussion of a range of issues relating to the law that applies in situations of armed conflict.
|Hugo Slim on the protection of civilians in Gaza on Radio 4's Moral Maze|
Hugo Slim contributes to BBC discussion on the protection of civilians in the war in Gaza on Radio 4's programme, the Moral Maze.
|Hugo Slim and Alex Bellamy on R2P and Humanitarian Action|
Hugo Slim and Alex Bellamy co-edit a special issue of the journal, Global Responsibility to Protect, on R2P and Humanitarian Action with contributions from Sir John Holmes, Stephen Hopgood, Oxfam, MSF and GPPI, plus ELAC's Alexander Leveringhaus and Urvashi Aneja. See the online edition here.
|Hugo Slim and Anais Resseguier contribute to Australian Government evaluation of the 2011 Horn of Africa Crisis.|
The Australian Government has published the evaluation of
Australia's contribution to the 2011 humanitarian response to the
conflict and famine in the Horn of Africa. Report and Summary Briefs
can be found here.
|David Rodin on Ethics and War at the Carnegie Council Symposium|
David Rodin will give a lecture on "Ethics and War" at the Carnegie Council Symposium in Sarajevo on June 27
to mark the centenary of the assasination of Franz Ferdinand.
|Hugo Slim chairs special meeting on business, violence and armed conflict at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London|
On June 17, a meeting co-hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the FCO brought together speakers from ICRC, the FCO, Amnesty, Anglo-American and IHRB to discuss the progress of the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business, and the role of multi-stakeholder initiatives on business and conflict like the Voluntary Principles and the Kimberly Process.
|Gilles Giacca's forthcoming book Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Armed Conflict|
Gilles Giacca is pleased to announce his forthcoming book Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Armed
Conflict (Oct 2014)
- News for
the 2013/2014 academic year
- News for the 2012/2013 academic year
- News for the 2011/2012 academic year
- News for the 2010/2011 academic year
- News for the 2009/2010 academic year
- News for the 2008/2009 academic year