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Katharine awarded Francis Lieber Prize for best 2017 LOAC book

April 24, 2018

I have not been able to post anything for quite a while, but this is a great occasion to start again. Those who have a twitter account may already have seen the announcement, but for the less ‘progressive’ members of the IHL community (like myself):

Katharine’s excellent book The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (OUP 2017) was awarded the Francis Lieber Prize two weeks ago. This prize is annually awarded by the Lieber Society of the American Society of International Law for outstanding scholarship in the field of the law of armed conflict; one prize for the most outstanding monograph in the field of law and armed conflict, and one for the best article. Previous winners include Ken Watkin, who won the book prize last year for Fighting at the Legal Boundaries: Controlling the Use of Force in Contemporary Conflict, Sandesh Sivakumaran for his The Law of Non-International Armed Conflict (2012), and Tom Ruys for ‘Armed Attack’ and Article 51 of the UN Charter (2011).

The prize for best article of 2017 was awarded to Jay Butler for his article “Amnesty for Even the Worst Offenders”, published in the Washington University Law Review. Congratulations to the winners!

We are, of course, very proud of Katharine!

San Remo New Voices in IHL Competition

April 19, 2018

On the occasion of the 41st Round Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross have launched a very nice new initiative which may be of interest to readers of this blog – the very first ‘Sanremo New Voices in International Humanitarian Law’ essay competition.

The winner will be invited to present at the Round Table in Sanremo (Italy) on 6-8 September 2018 and to publish the essay in the Conference proceedings.

The topic of the 2018 Round Table will be ‘Deprivation of liberty and armed conflicts: Exploring realities and remedies’. Expert discussions will focus primarily on detention during armed conflicts. One panel will also address the closely related issue of immigration-related detention.

The International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the International Committee of the Red Cross have the pleasure of inviting the submission of short essays, which address questions related to one of the following broad topics:

➡ Detention by non-State armed groups

➡ Migration-related detention

Eligibility of submissions

In order to be eligible for consideration by the organizers, essays must be

  • Written by one person, in English or French, and no longer than 2500 words (including footnotes);
  • Submitted by a person who is either 35 years old or younger, or is enrolled in a PhD programme, provided that the person is no more than 38 years old;
  • Submitted by a person who is not a staff member of the ICRC or of the IIHL (interns/ associates are eligible);
  • Fall under one of two broad topics: ‘Detention by non-States armed groups’, or ‘Immigration-related detention’;
  • Received by the organizers by 15 June 2018 (midnight, CET).

Submission procedure

  • All essays must be submitted, in PDF format, to and to (Subject: ‘Submission for the 2018 essay competition). Questions may be directed to the same email addresses.
  • Please make sure that the essay does not contain the author’s name in order to facilitate anonymous review. However, it must contain the title of the essay.
  • Please include the following information in the cover email: Full name of the author; full address and email address; phone number; date of birth; affiliation/occupation; title of the essay; a sentence stating that the author is the sole author of the essay and that the essay meets all eligibility criteria.
  • By submitting an essay, candidates confirm that they fulfil the eligibility requirements of the competition. The organizers may request formal proof of eligibility.
  • The organizers will acknowledge receipt of all essays.

Selection procedure

  • The organizers will review the essays and select a winner based on the substantive quality of the essay, along with its relevance to the above-proposed topics. The persons reviewing the essays will not know the identity of the author.
  • The winner will be invited to present the essay as part of a panel during the 41st Sanremo Round 
Table on Current Issues of International Humanitarian Law, which will take place 
on 6-8 September 2018 in Sanremo, Italy.
  • The co-organizers will fund travel costs and accommodation for the winner.
  • Once a winner is selected, all participants will be notified.

News Roundup – 9-17th April 2018

April 17, 2018

Syrian army vows to press war, rebels say strikes not enough

IRGC-controlled Syrian militia declares jihad against US forces in Syria

Kurdish-Held Detainees in Syria Are Not in a “Legal Gray Area”

‘No British involvement’ in interrogation of IS ‘Beatles’

Politics and oil: the unseen drivers of violence in Congo’s Ituri Province

Taliban overruns Afghan district, kills governor

At least four killed after rebel-army gun battle in Kashmir

Islamic Jihad Union conducts joint raid with the Taliban

Armed groups control Libyan prisons, torture rampant: U.N. report

Fighters disguised as peacekeepers attack UN base in Mali

ICC prosecutes Islamist militant on groundbreaking gender-based charges

Civilians killed in Central African Republic were ‘manipulated’: U.N.

Nigeria: 149 women and children rescued from Boko Haram

One killed, dozens wounded in clashes in Central African Republic

Ecuadorian journalists kidnapped by rebels have been killed, president says

Ecuador gives Colombian insurgents 12 hours to prove captives alive

In blow to peace, Colombia jails ex-rebel on US drug warrant

News Roundup – 26th March – 2nd April 2018

April 3, 2018

An Athens and Sparta Alliance: A Call for Collaboration Between Academics and Practitioners on the Law Governing Conflict

2 British IS members say hostage beheadings were a ‘mistake’

In face of Ghouta defeat, Syrian rebels blame each other

Syrian rebels Jaish al-Islam refuse to leave Ghouta: spokesman

Second group of Failaq al-Rahman rebels leave Syria’s Ghouta

Can Resolute Support possibly still not understand Taliban strategy?

‘We want to return to our lands without bloodshed or bombs’

A peek inside Houthi Rebel’s recent missile strikes in Saudi Arabia

Saudis shoot down seven missiles fired on cities by Yemen’s Houthi rebels

Mali war crimes suspect in custody: International Criminal Court

Suspected rebels kill at least 11 in northeastern Congo

East African bloc says South Sudan rebel Machar should be freed from house arrest

Rebels in the Central African Republic are filling the void of an absent government

Why are former FARC rebels leaving reintegration camps?

News roundup – 19-25th March 2018

March 27, 2018

Al Qaeda again addresses factional infighting in Syria

Syrian army celebrates as rebels quit most of their Ghouta stronghold

Syrian rebel victory in Afrin reveals strength of Turkish-backed force

Syrian rebels agree to evacuate town in Ghouta: sources

PKK announces withdrawal of ‘guerrilla forces’ from Iraq’s Sinjar

Houthi leader vows to fight with Hezbollah in future war with Israel

Two killed as pre-election bomb targets Egyptian police chief

Executions, torture and slave markets persist in Libya: U.N.

Taliban skeptical of Afghan government’s peace offer

Afghanistan attack targets Kabul classroom with 600 children inside

Ceasefire with Colombia’s ELN rebels back on the table

News Roundup – 6-20th March 2018

March 20, 2018

Civilians organise ‘human shield’ to protect Kurdish Afrin

Kurdish fighters vow to fight Turkey army after Afrin withdrawal

Syrian Rebels, Backed by Turkey, Seize Control of Afrin

Syrian Rebels Agree to Evacuate Qaeda-Linked Fighters From Eastern Ghouta

Syria’s Assad visits army in eastern Ghouta as rebels in talks

Thousands of women, men, children raped in Syria’s war: U.N. report

Snipers Slam Shut an Escape Hatch From a Syrian Hell

Battle for Faryab: Fighting intensifies on one of Afghanistan’s major frontlines

Turkistan Islamic Party highlights joint raids with the Afghan Taliban

At least 30 die in Afghan violence, including 10 in Kabul attack on Shiites

For peace in Afghanistan, talk to Afghans

Maute-ISIS remnants scatter into 10 subgroups – PH military

Tuareg militias again clash with Islamic State-loyal militants in northern Mali

Ethnic clashes in eastern Congo kill at least 40: official

What’s happening in Ituri?

Rape of men and boys in Central African Republic is ‘ignored’ crime

ISIL video of Niger attack highlights US troops’ vulnerability

UN envoy urges hold-out armed groups to sign accord for durable peace in Sudan’s Darfur

Wa, Mongla groups ‘accept’ nationwide ceasefire accord: govt peacemaker

Northeast Colombia: 6 killed in combat between illegal armed groups


News Roundup – 27th Feb – 5th March 2018

March 6, 2018

ISIS supporter tried to recruit 55 children for attacks in London

How to keep armed groups from using land mines

Jihadists form ‘Guardians of the Religion’ organisation in Syria

Eastern Ghouta residents ‘mock’ ceasefire as killing continues

Where is al-Qaeda in Syria?

Syria’s ex-Qaeda vies with rivals over control of northwest Syria

The Rise of Paramilitary Groups in Turkey

Afghan president offers to recognise the Taliban

Civilians killed as armed groups clash in Libyan south

Parties in Yemen Must Prioritize National Interest in Efforts to End Fighting, Special Envoy Tells Security Council amid Calls for Unity of Purpose

Veteran commander vies for power in Libya’s shifting sands

Shabaab targets Somali, African Union troops in southern Somalia

Ethnic clashes in northeastern Congo kill more than 40 people

Violence divides CAR along Christian-Muslim lines

Five Colombian soldiers killed in ‘ELN rebel ambush’