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News Roundup – 8-15th January 2018

January 15, 2018

Financing armed groups during ceasefires

The Independent Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission: Has the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Awoken?

Turkey to launch imminent Syria operation against YPG

Syria: UN rights chief condemns spike in civilian casualties in ‘de-escalation’ areas

Talks with rebels in no-man’s land as Russia eyes post-war role in Syria

Syrian government must allow 529 sick and injured civilians out of Eastern Ghouta

Syria monitor: Over 20 killed in Idlib car bomb blast

Car bomb blast in Sidon wounds Hamas member

Armed Kurdish groups want disputed territory back in Iraq

Israel using electricity to blackmail Gaza

Kashmir civilian, rebel killed during anti-India fighting

Rohingya insurgents say 10 found in Myanmar grave ‘innocent civilians’

Colombia’s ELN rebels resume attacks as ceasefire expires

Colombia’s community leader assassinations up 45% in 2017

Once again, our thanks go to Sam Jackson for the compilation of this news roundup.

News Roundup – 1-7th January 2018

January 9, 2018

2018: British Armed Drone Operations Reach a Crossroads

Will Syria see a political solution in 2018?

Syria war: ‘Russian strikes’ kill 25 in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta

Syrian rebel shelling destroys at least seven Russian planes, report says

Syrian army preparing assault to end rebel siege of base east of capital

Huge jihadist-led combined rebel army forming in northwest Syria: opposition sources

Syrian subgroups merge to form new National Army under Turkey’s guidance

Terrorist Bodies as Bargaining Chips: Alyan v. The Military Commander in the West Bank

Old Dogs, New Tricks: Urban Warfare in Turkey’s War with the PKK

When it comes to protecting children in war zones, the UK should set an example by ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Norway suspends arms sales to UAE over Yemen war

Post-Saleh guerrilla conflicts leave scores of civilians dead

Yemen: Rebel-run court sentences Baha’i man to death

South Sudan Rebel Attacks Have Killed 34 People Since Beginning of Year

Eight dead as rebels storm Kashmir paramilitary camp

Bomb blast kills four police officers in Kashmir

Myanmar’s cockpit of anarchy

Thanks to Sam Jackson for the preparation of this news roundup.

New volume of Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law – on armed groups and international law

December 22, 2017

The new volume of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law focuses on the theme of armed groups and international humanitarian law.

The general theme of the latest volume of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law is armed groups and the challenges arising from the participation of such groups in contemporary armed conflicts. It is elaborated upon in several chapters, addressing the organisation criterion, respect for and compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law, targeted sanctions and accountability issues, among other things. See contents below:-

Welcome on Board: Improving Respect for International Humanitarian Law Through the Engagement of Armed Non-State Actors

Contemporary armed conflicts are characterised by an increase of violence against civilians and a lack of compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) by both states and armed non-state actors (ANSAs)….

Annyssa Bellal in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 19, 2016 (2018)

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Crime-Based Targeted Sanctions: Promoting Respect for International Humanitarian Law by the Security Council

The UN Security Council (Security Council) has the task to maintain and restore the international peace and security. As a part of this task, it has the competence to impose targeted sanctions against individu…

Hilde D. Roskam in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 19, 2016 (2018)

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Armed Groups and Procedural Accountability: A Roadmap for Further Thought

This chapter investigates the meaning of the term “accountability”, as it is used in policy discussions surrounding armed groups. It takes a detailed look at literature from public administration on the concep…

Katharine Fortin in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 19, 2016 (2018)

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Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by Non-State Armed Groups: How Can It Be Improved?

How can compliance of non-state armed groups with international humanitarian law (IHL) be improved? In answering this question, this chapter presents a political science perspective and approach to achieve thr…

Hyeran Jo in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 19, 2016 (2018)

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Year in Review 2016

The year 2016 was marked by several noteworthy events with particular relevance to international humanitarian law, such as: the continuance of the conflict in Syria, the prolongation of violence in Libya, the …

Kate Pitcher, Sophie van der Valk… in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law… (2018)

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Armed Groups, Rebel Coalitions, and Transnational Groups: The Degree of Organization Required from Non-State Armed Groups to Become Party to a Non-International Armed Conflict

Identifying non-state parties to armed conflicts becomes increasingly complex. As seen in recent conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen, or the Central African Republic, turmoil or inter-communal tensions escalate i…

Tilman Rodenhäuser in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 19, 2016 (2018)

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Engaging Armed Groups Through the Development of Human Rights Obligations: Incorporating Practice, Motivation and Ideology to Promote Compliance with International Law

Non-State armed groups exert extensive influence on populations around the world. However, international law does not effectively regulate the relationship between armed groups and populations subject to their…

Daragh Murray in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 19, 2016 (2018)

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Knock on the Roof: Legitimate Warning or Method of Warfare?

This chapter aims to address the practice of using a “knock on the roof” as a warning before air strikes are launched in order to mitigate civilian casualties during armed conflict. It involves the dropping of…

Jeroen C. van den Boogaard in Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 19, 2016 (2018)

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News Roundup – 11-18th December 2017

December 18, 2017

Things have been a bit busy over the past few months, and the news roundup has fallen by the wayside. However, as we are consistently told by practitioners and academics that the roundup is helpful – we have taken steps to reinstate it in 2018. This news roundup has been prepared by Sam Jackson, former LLM student of Utrecht University who is currently researching issues relating to armed groups and international law.

How law protects persons with disabilities in armed conflict

ICRC president warns over ‘explosive mix’ of urban conflicts

Congolese warlord found liable for $10 million reparations

Congo fighters jailed for life for child rape ceremonies: rights groups

Rebel infighting leaves Yemen’s capital more divided than ever

Yemen war: Air strikes on rebel prison in Sanaa ‘kill 30’

Philippines Extends Martial Law in South for Another Year

Macron calls for Sahel force against armed groups

Lafarge paid 13 million euros to armed groups to keep operating in Syria: rights group

Alistair Burt calls for urgent and unhindered humanitarian access to Eastern Ghouta

Russia will keep bases in Syria to strike at insurgents: Kremlin

Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias push towards Idlib province

U.N. says 137 Syrian sick kids stranded in rebel enclave

MSF estimates more than 6,700 Rohingya killed in Myanmar

War-scarred neighborhoods in Ukraine’s rebel-held Donetsk

Hezbollah Shifts Its Focus to Israel in the Wake of Washington’s Jerusalem Move

Libya: European governments complicit in horrific abuse of refugees and migrants

Pre-emptively targeting terrorists threatening national security is legitimate: in-depth analysis of Justice Adel Maged study on countering terrorism in Sinai

Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, Calling on Parties to Facilitate Unimpeded Aid Delivery


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