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YIHL – Call for Papers on Development and Interpretation of IHL

September 4, 2017

Volume 20 of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law (YIHL) will focus on the general theme: ‘The Development and Interpretation of International Humanitarian Law’. Indeed, how does this branch of public international law develop, and how is it interpreted? What is the role of states in the lawmaking process of international humanitarian law? What is the influence of the new commentaries, by the ICRC and the Geneva Academy? And what can be said about the different manuals in this field? What is the influence of new technology on international humanitarian law, and what role has for instance the Tallinn Manual played in this respect? And finally, how do all these interpretations interact with and correlate to international criminal law and other branches of public international law? In addition to this general theme, this Yearbook will also devote a few of its chapters to the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Moreover, there is of course the possibility to submit articles on international humanitarian law topics not related to the general theme ‘The Development and Interpretation of International  Humanitarian Law;’ and the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

Interested authors should send their submission before 1 October 2017 to the Managing Editor of the YIHL, Dr. Christophe Paulussen ( Articles should be submitted in conformity with the YIHL guidelines. The Editorial Board aims to publish Vol. 20 (2017) at the end of the ensuing year, in December 2018 at the latest

Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law – OUP

August 21, 2017

CoverWe’ve advertised lots of books on this blog since I started it in 2012, so I hope readers will forgive me for mentioning my own book here –  The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law. It came out 10 days ago with the OUP.

The writing of this book was motivated out of the observation that although there is a continuing academic debate about when armed groups can have obligations under international human rights law, the practice of armed groups being held accountable under human rights law by Commissions of Inquiry, Special Rapporteurs etc. only seems to gather pace.

Arguing that it will impossible to achieve ‘accountability’ unless it is based on a solid legal framework, I set out to bring greater clarity and understanding to the circumstances in which armed groups may be bound by human rights law. I address the debate on this topic by employing a theoretical, historical and comparative analysis that spans international humanitarian law, international criminal law and criminal law. Embedding these different inquiries in public international law, I seek to achieve clarity about when and how armed groups can acquire legal personality under human rights law.

The table of the contents of the book is as follows:-

  1. Introduction
  2. Added Value of Application of International Human Rights Law to Armed Groups
  3. Evaluative Framework: Legal Personality under International Law
  4. The Law on Belligerency and Insurgency and International Legal Prsonality
  5. International Humanitarian Law and International Legal Personality
  6. International Legal Personality of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law
  7. How are Armed Groups Bound by International Humanitarian Law?
  8. Armed Groups and Treaty Law
  9. Control of Territory and Human Rights Obligations of Armed Groups
  10. Armed Groups and Crimes against Humanity
  11. Armed Groups and Customary International Human Rights Law
  12. Conclusions

My thanks go to all the people without whose support the book would never have been written. Special thanks go to Professor Andrew Clapham who kindly wrote the foreword.

40th San Remo Roundtable on IHL

July 12, 2017

The provisional programme for the 40th San Remo Roundtable on IHL has been released and is reproduced below. The roundtable will mark the 40th anniversary of the two Additional Protocols and will focus on the topic of the protection of civilians and gender violence during both armed conflict and internal violence.

It is jointly organized by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross and will take place in Sanremo from 7 to 9 September 2017. To register for the roundtable, follow the link here.


News Roundup – 27 June – 5 July 2017

July 5, 2017

Canada to pay $10.5m to youngest Guantanamo inmate, convicted of killing US soldier

Venezuela Helicopter assault: Real attack or staged hoax?

Suspected Boko Haram militants kill nine, abduct dozens in Niger

At least 22 killed in Central African Republic clashes

Human Rights Watch report “Killing Without Consequence: War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic

Fierce fighting as East Libyan forces close in on last Benghazi holdout

Amnesty International: People ‘burned to death in homes’ by South Sudan’s government militias

See here for Amnesty’s report “South Sudan – Atrocities in Equatoria Region trun country’s breadbasket into killing field”

Raids on Uganda show South Sudan’s war spilling across its borders

U.S. conducts air strike in Somalia against al Shabaab militants

Hundreds have gone missing in eastern Ukraine’s dirty war

Trial of any MH17 suspects to be held in Dutch court

Iraqi forces recapture historic Mosul mosque, now little more than rubble

U.S.-backed forces breach the wall of Raqqa’s Old City in the heart of the ISIS capital

OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Confirms Use of Chemical Weapons in Khan Shaykhun (Syria) on 4 April 2017

Fall of Mosul: Is it the beginning of the end for ISIL?

Khamenei’s representative says Islamic state’s Baghdadi ‘definitely dead’

Former French judge to lead UN Syria war crimes probe

Philippine troops arrest Marawi militants’ ‘main financier’


Two fully funded PhDs exploring Islamist non-State actor governance

June 30, 2017

Two very interesting PhD positions are being advertised at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation which is based at Kings College London.

The project is interested in better understanding how Islamist non-state actors govern in states where the authority of traditional institutions has been eroded. This project will trace and describe emerging challenges to the conceptualisation of power, politics, authority and governance posed by Islamist non-state actors, especially since 2011. The project leaders are particularly interested in understanding how Islamic non-STate actors attempt to govern and interact with both local populations and the global system of international politics; how proto-states and governance structures develop over time, responding to political crises, war, and civil society; and the limits of Westphalian-inspired conceptions of statehood.

Click on the link above for details.

Final English translation of the Colombian peace agreement

June 18, 2017

In this post, you can find the link to the English translation of the Colombian peace agreement which has recently been put online. Please note the caveat in the text presenting the link which affirms that the translation has no legal value, and only the Spanish version is legally binding.

News Round-Up 5-11 June

June 14, 2017

Sudan holds Darfur rebels responsible for the recent clashes

S. Sudan rebel faction and government sign peace pact

Kabul In Continuing Plight Against Growing Insurgent And Terrorist Intimidations

Glimmers of hope for peace in Myanmar

Defining the Model: Understanding Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Models to Develop a Path Forward in Afghanistan

200 displaced amid combat between illegal armed groups in southwest Colombia

Colombia: Armed Groups Oppress Riverside Communities

Jihadists rise in Mindanao

Conflicts arise in central Africa as a result of SEC decision

NDFP orders Moro group, NPA to defend vs Maute, Abu Sayyaf

Colombia’s FARC rebel group 30% finished with disarmament

Former insurgent group to take part in Afghan elections

CAR: Scores dead and thousands displaced as conflict erupts in Alindao

UN envoy discusses South Sudan crisis and SPLM-N rift in Khartoum

Conflict in Thai south could be exploited by ISIS, warn analysts