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Legal Roundup – October 2017

October 11, 2017

It is our pleasure to provide our latest legal roundup which compiles academic writings relevant to armed groups and international law and non-international armed conflicts during the period September 2016-October 2017.

Our special thanks go to Karolina Aksamitowska, student assistant at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, for her valuable assistance in compiling this legal roundoup.

International humanitarian law and/or international human rights law

Report of Bruges Colloquium 2016 on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and IHL can be found here.

Akande, Dapo, and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard. “Promoting Compliance with the Rules Regulating Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict: Some Challenges.” Israel Law Review 50, no. 2 (2017): 119-137.

Bellal, Annyssa, The War Report: Armed Conflicts in 2016, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Blank, Laurie R., The Limits of Inviolability: The Parameters for Protection of United Nations Facilities during Armed Conflict, International Law Studies, Naval War College, 2017, Vol. 93

Boothby, Bill, Space Weapons and the Law, International Law Studies, Naval War College, 2017, Vol. 93

Breslin, Andrea, A Reflection on the Legal Obligation for Third States to Ensure Respect for IHL, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, 2017, Vol. 22, Issue 1

Burniske, Jessica with Modirzadeh, Naz and Lewis, Dustin, Armed Non-State Actors and International Human Rights Law; An Analysis of the Practice of the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly, Briefing Report with Annexes, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, 2017

Farrant, James, Ford, Christopher M., Autonomous Weapons and Weapon Reviews: The UK Second International Weapon Review Forum, International Law Studies, Naval War College, 2017, Vol. 93

Fortin, Katharine, The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law, Oxford University Press, August 2017

Grant, Patrick B., Islamic Law, International Law, and Non-International Armed Conflict in Syria, Boston University International Law Journal, 2017, Vol. 35, Issue 1

Haque, Adil Ahmed, Armed Intervention and Overlapping Conflict, October 2017

John-Hopkins, Michael, Extrapolation of Criminal Law Modes of Liability to Target Analysis under International Humanitarian Law: Developing the Framework for Understanding Direct Participation in Hostilities and Membership in Organized Armed Groups in Non-International Armed Conflict, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, 2017, Vol. 22, Issue 2

Ka Lok Yip, The ICRC’s interpretive guidance on the notion of direct participation in hostilities: sociological and democratic legitimacy in domestic legal orders , Transnational Legal Theory, 2017, Vol 8, Issue 2

Kassoti, Eva, The Normative Status of Unilateral Ad Hoc Commitments by Non-State Armed Actors in Internal Armed Conflicts: International Legal Personality and Lawmaking Capacity Distinguished, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, 2017, Vol. 22, Issue 1

Read more…

Interesting blog posts

October 9, 2017

Last week, a series of interesting blog posts discussed several issues in relation to armed groups. Here is a selection:

Common Article 3 and Linkages Between Non-State Armed Groups, By Ashley Deeks on Lawfare

ICRC Commentary of Common Article 3: Some questions relating to organized armed groups and the applicability of IHL’, By Annyssa Bellal on EJIL Talk!

Why the Laws of War Apply to Drone Strikes Outside “Areas of Active Hostilities” (A Memo to the Human Rights Community), By Ryan Goodman on Just Security

On Whether IHL Applies to Drone Strikes Outside ‘Areas of Active Hostilities’: A Response to Ryan Goodman, By Marko Milanovic on EJIL Talk!



News RoundUp 2 Oct.-9 Oct.

October 9, 2017

Colombia rebel leader readies troops ahead of cease-fire

As Liberia Debates Justice for War Crimes, a Rebel Faces Trial in the US

Eastern DRC rebels target Kinshasa in move to depose Kabila

Congo warlord seeks to unite rebel factions in anti-Kabila alliance

Clashes as ‘rebels‘ storm Indian base in Kashmir 

Syrian Soldier Is Guilty of War Crime, a First in the 6-Year Conflict

Department of Defense Directive 2310.01E: A Snapshot of the Pentagon’s Policy on Detention (Lawfare blog)

Iraqi army announces liberation of last-remaining Isil territory in north of country

Rape a war tactic used by armed groups in Central African Republic, says Human Rights Watch

UN approves monitoring of ELN rebel cease-fire in Colombia

Ukraine parliament extends insurgents‘ self-rule by one year

UN removes MILF from list of armed groups recruiting children

Ugandan Rebel Group Massacres 22 in Congo

Call for Papers: Terrorism and Belligerency

October 9, 2017

The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions (RLEC) at the University of Haifa, Faculty of Law and the Geography and Environmental Studies Department, invite submissions for participation in the second young researchers workshop on “Terrorism and Belligerency”. The workshop will be held at the Minerva Center, University of Haifa between 4-20 February 2018.

Subject-Matter of Workshop

Following the success of the first workshop held in September 2016 (see here), the Minerva Center for RLEC is planning a second young researchers workshop in February 2018. Papers are welcomed on theoretical or practical legal issues related to terrorism and belligerency from varied perspectives, such as: history, philosophy, sociology, geography, technology, economics, and politics. A non-exhaustive list of possible subjects includes:

  • National law applicable to dealing with situations of high and low intensity belligerency (international and non-international armed conflicts).
  • National law applicable to dealing with situations of high and low intensity belligerency (international and non-international armed conflicts).
  • International law applicable to dealing with situations of high and low intensity belligerency (international and non-international armed conflicts).
  • Law applicable to counter-terrorism efforts.
  • Constitutional design for armed conflicts and counter-terrorism.
  • Judicial review related to situations of counter-terrorism and belligerency.
  • Application of constitutional or international human rights protection in situations of armed conflict and counter-terrorism.
  • Legal aspects of economic and sociological developments in counter-terrorism situations.
  • Geographical scope of application to counter-terrorism and belligerency legal regimes.
  • Legal aspects of the use of advance technologies in the battlefield or for counter-terrorism purposes.
  • Application of “Just War” doctrine in situations of armed conflict and counter-terrorism.

Purpose of Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to convene a group of scholars for a high-level discussion on enduring and emerging questions on law and policy related to terrorism / belligerency. This workshop will offer participants a balanced combination of rigorous scholarly discussion and more relaxed social interaction.

Structure of Workshop

This workshop will feature twelve papers selected through this call. The expected formation will include six Israeli researchers and six researchers from outside of Israel. The workshop will be held over a 2.5 weeks period; participants from abroad will be offered residency in the university dormitories.

Workshop Sessions: The participants will convene twice a week for full day sessions of presentations and discussions. During each session, selected participants will present their papers to the workshop group. Senior researchers and practitioners will be invited to the sessions to provide feedback, as well as a weekly keynote presentation. Following each presentation there will be an open discussion among the workshop participants.

Field trip: The participants will be invited for field trips which include, inter alia, planned visits to relevant locations and institutions (such as the Israeli Supreme Court, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, and the security wall) where they will meet with experts and practitioners dealing with issues related to terrorism and belligerency.


Submissions are invited from young researchers, namely PhD candidates, Post-Doctoral fellows, and scholars up to 5 years since the completion of their PhD.

Submission Instructions

Interested scholars should email an abstract of up to 500 words along with current CV by November 17, 2017 to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Researchers asking for support for travel expenses (see article 8 for details) should also submit a letter of request.

Abstracts should reflect papers that have not been published. Researchers should identify their submission with the following subject line: “Minerva Center- Terrorism and Belligerency Workshop 2018.”

For more information on costs and conditions, see link here:



News Roundup – 20-26 September 2017

September 26, 2017

UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

Institute of Global and Area Studies (Hamburg): Religious conflicts on the rise in Africa

Using Capoeira to heal trauma for former child soldiers

US DoD: U.S. Precision Airstrikes Kill 17 ISIS Militants in Libya

General accused of war crimes courted by west in Libya

Libyan armed group seeks legitimacy with Tripoli migrant deal, source says

TRIAL: “Swiss war crimes inquiry into Assad’s uncle stalled”

U.S. allies accuse Russia of strikes in eastern Syria

Human Rights Watch: US-led coalition air strikes killed dozens of civilians near Raqqa in March

Turkey extends troops’ deployment in Iraq and Syria

Iraq hangs 42 Sunni militants convicted of terrorism

Three suspected al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen drone strike

Why are Afghan militants targeting aid workers?

Amnesty International: Video and satellite evidence shows new fires still torching Rohingya villages in Myanmar

Bangladesh wants UN safe zones in Myanmar to protect Rohingya

Rio de Janeiro’s drug war (photos)

Intercross podcast: when war comes to cities

September 25, 2017

News Roundup – 11-19th Sep 2017

September 19, 2017

Reaping the whirlwind: drones flown by non-State actors now pose a lethal threat. 

IRIN news cheat sheet on humanitarian news: Trouble in CAR, trapped in Raqqa and Trump at the UNGA. 

UN Security Council approves one year extension of UN’s political mission in Libya. 

Syria investigator del Ponte signs off with a sting. 

Human Rights Council holds interactive dialogue with Syria Commission of Inquiry. 

Rohingya militants vow to fight Myanmar despite disastrous cost. 

Nigeria: Herders against farmers – Nigeria’s expanding deadly conflict. 

New CRG investigative report: mass killings in Beni territory  (see here for report).

South Sudan needs more than a hybrid court. 

South Sudan army down plays rebel capability to disrupt oil production. 

UN Security Council approves mandate, size and operations of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.