News Archive 2008-2009

Jennifer Welsh to Appear on Al Jazeera English
Jennifer Welsh will appear in this month's edition of Empire on Al Jazeera English. The programme will be broadcast on Wednesday, 30 September at 19.00; Thursday, 1 Oct. at 03.00 and 14.00; and Friday, 2 Oct. at 06.00 GMT. The programme can also be seen online following its initial broadcast <<here>>.
Jennifer Welsh Guest Editor of Special Issue of Ethics & International Affairs
The latest issue of Ethics & International Affairs (Volume 23.2) features a special section on Postwar Justice and the Responsibility to Rebuild with guest editors Jennifer Welsh (Co-director, ELAC) and Alexandra Gheciu and contributions from Alexandra Gheciu and Jennifer Welsh, Mark Evans, Stefano Recchia, and Dominik Zaum.
Dapo Akande Appointed as a Consultant by the African Union
Dapo Akande has been appointed as a Consultant by the African Union to contribute to a review of the work of the International Criminal Court. The African Union will be holding a Ministerial meeting, in June 2009, of African States Parties to the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. The purpose of the meeting is “to exchange views on the work of the ICC in relation to Africa, in particular in the light of the processes initiated against African personalities, and to submit recommendations thereon taking into account all relevant elements.” The meeting was called in part as a result of the request by the ICC prosecutor for an arrest warrant for the President of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir. However, the meeting of African States is also significant because all of the situations currently under investigation by the Court and all of the current prosecutions arise from the African continent. Dapo has been appointed to assist the Commission of the African Union in the preparation of a background report including recommendations. Dapo has recently written an article on "The Legal Nature of Security Council Referrals to the ICC and its Impact on Al Bashir's Immunities" (forthcoming (2009) 7 Journal of International Criminal Justice). His previous publications include: “The Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over Nationals of Non-Parties”, (2003) 1 Journal of International Criminal Justice 618-650 for which he was awarded the inaugural Premio Regione Toscana Giorgio La Pira Prize in 2003; and “International Law Immunities and the International Criminal Court”, (2004) 98 American Journal of International Law 407-433.
Proportionality and War Symposium

On 21 May the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) held a one day symposium on proportionality and war. Collateral damage to civilians has become a critical issue in many recent conflicts: Israeli operations in Lebanon and Gaza have been heavily criticised for suspected disproportionality, as have recent US drone attacks against Taliban targets in Pakistan. Despite this, and despite the fact that disproportionate attacks are outlawed under the Geneva Conventions, no one has been prosecuted for these actions.

This symposium established a working group consisting of senior military personnel, leading academics, NGOs, and international lawyers, creating an informal and open space in which to bring together perspectives from different disciplinary domains. The aim was to foster a wide ranging and mutually beneficial conversation that confronts views from the discipline of moral philosophy, the experience of military personnel as well as that of both academic and practicing lawyers.

Dr. David Rodin, Co-Director of ELAC, said: "Everyone accepts that proportionality is a fundamental legal constraint on military operations. The problem is, no one knows exactly what it means or precisely what it requires. This has led to a situation where different militaries have different interpretations of what is acceptable. Inevitably it is civilians who suffer the consequences".

Policy brief: Implementing the 'Responsibility to Protect'

Prof. Jennifer Welsh publishes a policy brief on the implementation of the responsibility to protect within the UN, following a report by the UN Secretary-General. Member states are expected to address the Secretary-General's report and its recommendations in the General Assembly this Spring.

Policy brief: Implementing the 'Responsibility to Protect'

New publication: Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice

Dapo Akande is an editor and contributor to the Oxford Companion to International Criminal Justice (OUP). The Companion provides a useful reference and guide to this important field.

Workshop Report on Afghanistan

Jennifer Welsh participated in a workshop on Canada's approach to foreign policy in Afghanistan last November. The workshop included participants from academia, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, various Canadian and international government departments, and the military. An account of the workshop and its findings are included in report below.

Workshop report on Afghanistan

OSCT Workshops

David Rodin recently participated in two training workshops at the Office of Security of Counter Terrorism. The workshops were created to assist senior members of the Home Office's newly established Office of Security and Counter Terrorism to think through ethical aspects of counter-terrorism operations.

Jennifer Welsh piece in LRC

Jennifer Welsh published a commentary entitled 'Help Wanted: Leader of the Free World' in the January edition of the Literary Review of Canada. She asks whether Obama can fill this role, or if we are entering a new phase of global power sharing.

EJIL Talk! Blog

Dapo Akande is the founding editor of the a new blog hosted by the European Journal of International Law, EJIL Talk!. The blog will include posts on a number of international law issues and is already generating a great deal of content on issues surrounding armed conflict.

'Technology and Asymmetry' Keynote Address, Amsterdam

David Rodin delivered the opening keynote address to a major conference on Ethics and Emerging Military technology in Amsterdam on the 5 November. The conference was organised jointly by the Dutch Defence Academy and the Dutch Ministry of Defence and brought together leading academics, policy makers and military officers from Europe, North-America and Australia. Dr Rodin's address was entitled "Technology and Asymmetry" and addressed the challenges posed to traditional Just War Theory by the extreme divergence in military technology typical of modern asymmetric conflicts.

'Towards an Arms Trade Treaty’: Round Table Discussion, Oxford
July 2008

ELAC hosted a round table discussion on the proposal for a comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the international transfer of conventional arms. The event brought together leading governmental representatives involved in the current UN consultation process, members of civil society, and academics. The discussion provided a valuable opportunity to work through difficult questions about the viability and structure of the proposed treaty as a means to facilitating an international consensus. The resulting report and recommendations were tabled at the final meeting of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on a global Arms Trade Treaty.

Towards an Arms Trade Treaty Report

Human Rights and War’: Round Table Discussion, New York
September 2008

In partnership with the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs, ELAC convened a round table event on Human Rights and War in New York city. The event brought together local scholars and members of governmental and non-governmental organisations to explore the complex and multifaceted impact of human rights law and moral theory on the regulation of war. Jennifer Welsh, David Rodin and Dapo Akande examined the issues from the perspectives of international policy, philosophy and law.

News from James Martin 21st Century School