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News Roundup – 22 September 2014

September 22, 2014

HRW Report: Lessons from specialized war crimes units in France, Germany and the Netherlands (see here for report).

Small Arms Survey Report: Searching for Stability: Perceptions of Security, Justice, and Firearms in Libya (see here for report).

Chatham House Event: Reporting undercover in Syria (transcript of interview and Q&A)

Syrian Kurdish fighters halt Islamic State advance near Kobani.

Yemen rebels raid army  commander’s house hours after peace deal.

This interactive site will help you understand what’s happening in South Sudan.

ICTJ Study on Nepal finds conflict victims continue to have acute needs: calls for comprehensive reparations (see here for report).

Ukraine to pull back artillery in east.

Weapons Law and the Conduct of the Legal Review of Weapons Course

September 22, 2014

Weapons Law and Weapons ReviewThe Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) is now accepting applications for this year’s “Weapons Law and the Conduct of the Legal Review of Weapons Course”, which will be held at the GCSP in Geneva from 8 to 12 December 2014.

This course is designed to provide lawyers, diplomats and other officials, either currently involved or likely to be involved in legal weapons reviews and/or other weapons related issues, with the necessary understanding to ensure their State’s compliance with the law.

The course is directed by Air Commodore (ret) Dr William Boothby, formerly Deputy Director of the Royal Air Force Legal Services (UK) and currently Associate Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Other lecturers include: Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Professor of Public Law, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt; Ms Kathleen Lawand, Head of Arms Unit, Legal Division, International Committee of the Red Cross; and Dr Nils Melzer, Senior Programme Advisor and Senior Fellow, Emerging Security Challenges Programme, GCSP.

Course topics include:
  • Defining Weapons, Means and Methods of Warfare
  • The Evolution and Sources of Weapons Law
  • Unnecessary Suffering and Indiscriminate Weapons
  • Weapons and the Environment
  • Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons
  • Missiles, Bombs, Firearms and Bullets
  • New Weapons Technologies

Participation Requirements
  • The course does not assume any particular level of knowledge of, or previous experience in international law or the law of armed conflict.
  • The course will be held in English. No translation will be provided.

Applications (a Biography and a Cover Letter) should be submitted by 15 October 2014 at the latest to Ms Anne-Caroline Pissis Martel ( ).



News Roundup – 18 September 2014

September 18, 2014

Belgium arrests Liberian ex-rebel (NPFL) commander

Turkey says it plans to stop flow of IS fighters

Islamic State militants seize Kurdish villages in northern Syria

US: Syrian rebel training may start in 3 months

Syrian Forces Are Seen Stepping Up Attacks on Rebels as U.S. Sets Sights on ISIS

Why ISIL keeps growing

Armed rebels take new part of Yemen’s capital

News Roundup – 17 September 2014

September 17, 2014

ECtHR Judgment in Hassan v UK (on IHL and IHRL in times of IAC). On EJILTalk, Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne provides a first review of this important ruling.

Suicide bombers kill 15 at north Nigerian college

Libya could become another Syria, warns foreign minister conference

Shiite Militias Pose Challenge for U.S. in Iraq

Yemen clashes escalate as army shells rebels

Pakistan Military says Airstrikes kill 40 militants

China sees jihadi inspiration coming from abroad by way of the Web

Programme Bruges Colloquium and more upcoming conferences on IHL

September 17, 2014

The (provisional) programme for the upcoming Bruges Colloquium on “Detention in Armed Conflict” (16-17 October 2014, see here for more information) is made available online.

Day 1 has four sessions, includes the following two, which are specifically relevant for the readers of this blog:


Chairperson: Knut Dörmann, ICRC Legal Division

14:00 – 14:20 Legal framework for detention by states in non-international armed conflict (Speaker: Marco Sassòli, University of Geneva)

14:20 – 14:40 Detention by non-state armed groups (Speaker: Tbc)

14:40 – 15:00 The challenges in strengthening protection for persons deprived of their liberty in non-international armed conflict (Speaker: Ramin Mahnad, ICRC Legal Division)



Chairperson: Steven Hill, NATO SG Legal Office

16:00 – 16:20 NATO operational perspective (Speaker: Andres Muñoz, SHAPE Legal Office)

16:20 – 16:40 The legal basis for detention in extraterritorial NIACs – the Mohammad Serdar Case (Speaker: Françoise Hampson, University of Essex)

16:40 – 17:00 Review of detention in extraterritorial operations (Speaker: Marten Zwanenburg, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands)

17:00 – 17:45 Discussion

Read more…

News Roundup – 16 September 2014

September 16, 2014

DRC Rebel Group Wants Assurances to Hand Over Weapons

Haftar’s group claims Libya air raid

Sinai bomb kills Egyptian police officers

Ukraine approves special status for rebel-held east

U.N. Investigators Cite Atrocities in Syria (see draft report here)

The apocalyptic magazine the Islamic State uses to recruit and radicalize foreigners

Islamic State fighters drawing on oil assets for funding and fuel

Kurds in Europe Take Up Arms Against IS Group

U.S. Airstrikes Hit Targets Near Baghdad Held by ISIS

Deadly Taliban group gives up armed struggle in Pakistan

Breakaway Philippine rebels align with IS



News Roundup – 15 September 2014

September 16, 2014

Ban strongly condemns latest attack on UN peacekeepers in Mali

Human Rights Watch: Civilians in Danger in Central African Republic

Explosives Seized and 19 Arrested in Suspected Plot in Uganda

UN envoy warns Libya on brink of prolonged strife

Mystery airstrikes target Libyan Islamist militias

Ukrainian president offers rebels amnesty to end uprising

Ukraine Swaps Prisoners With Rebels as EU Imposes Russia Sanctions

Turkey Is a Steady Source of ISIS Recruits

US said to have urged Turkey not to help ‘some groups’

Syrian rebel fighters say Obama’s air strikes won’t deter Islamic State

Syrian Kurds Ally With Rebel Groups To Fight The Islamic State

‘It’s a Huge Mistake to Back Rebel Groups’

A Taliban fighter survived the attack on Afghanistan’s Camp Bastion. Will he get the death penalty?

Pakistan arrests 10 suspects over shooting of schoolgirl activist Malala


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