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Introducing Sam Jackson as news editor

February 15, 2019

Sam Jackson will take over posting the news roundups on the blog for the coming months. Sam did his LLM in Public International Law at Utrecht University in 2016/7, specialising in international human rights law and international humanitarian law. He wrote his thesis on the legal framework governing targeting in relation to child soldiers. He is currently looking for positions in the field of international humanitarian law and working as a student assistant on the blog, under the supervision of Katharine Fortin. 

Legal Roundup – 2018

February 5, 2019

Here is the legal roundup for 2018, that contains publications on issues related armed groups and international law, non-international armed conflict and the relationship between IHL and IHRL.

If you have a 2018 publication which you think should be included in this roundup, please do not hesitate to contact me at my address.

Thanks go to Sam Jackson and Ezequiel Heffes who have assisted with the compilation of this legal roundup. Please note that due to paywalls and your institution’s permissions, the given link may not always take you to the text of the article.

Armed Non-State Actors and IHL/ IHRL

Bellal, Annyssa, Welcome on Board: Improving respect for international humanitarian law through the engagement of armed non-State actors. Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 19, 2016 (published 2018).

Burchardt, Dana. International counter-terrorism regulation and citizenship-stripping laws: reinforcing legal exceptionalism. Journal of conflict and security law, Vol. 23, issue 2, 2018, p. 203 – 228.

Carswell, Andrew; Somer, Jonathan. Comparing Experiences: Engaging States and Non-State Armed Groups on International Humanitarian Law. The Companion to International Humanitarian Law, Brill, 2018, pp. 39-55.

Fortin, Katharine. Armed groups and procedural accountability: a roadmap for further thought. Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 19, 2016 (published 2018)

Gal, Tom. The international legal status of armed groups: can one be determined outside the scope of an armed conflict?. Israeli law review, Vol. 51, no. 2, 2018, p. 321 – 335

Hoover Green, Amanda. The Commander’s Dilemma. Violence and Restraint in Wartime. Cornell University Press, 2018.

Jo, Hyeran; Niehaus, John. Through rebel eyes: rebel groups, human rights, and humanitarian law. Law and contemporary problems, Vol. 81, 2018, p. 101 – 120

Krieger, Heike. International Law and Governance by Armed Groups: Caught in the Legitimacy Trap? Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, Vol. 12, issue 4, 2018, pp. 563-583.

Onishi, Kosuke. Rethinking the permissive function of military necessity in internal non-international armed conflict. In: Israeli law review, Vol. 51, issue 2, 2018

Klamberg, Mark. The legality of rebel courts during non-international armed conflicts. Journal of international criminal justice, Vol. 16, no. 2, 2018, p. 235 – 263

Mao, Xiao. Are “unlawful combatants” protected under international humanitarian law?. Amsterdam law forum, Vol. 10, no. 2, 2018. P. 62 – 71

Murray, Daragh. Engaging armed groups through the development of human rights obligations: incorporating practice, motivation and ideology to promote compliance with international law. Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 19, 2016 (published 2018).

Martinez, Jose Ciro; Eng, Brent. Stifling stateness: the Assad regime’s campaign against rebel governance. Security dialogue, Vol. 49, issue 4, 2018, p. 235 – 253

Revkin, Mara R. When terrorists govern: protecting civilians in conflicts with state-building armed groups. Harvard national security journal, Vol. 9, issue 1, 2018, p. 100 – 145

Rodenhauser, Tilman. Organizing rebellion: non-state armed groups under international humanitarian law, human rights law, and international criminal law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018

Rodenhauser, Tilman. 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. Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 19, 2016 (published 2018).

Roskam, Holde, D. Crime-based targeted sanctions: promoting respect for international humanitarian law by the Security Council, Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 19, 2016 (published 2018).

Somer, Jonathan. Armed Groups. The Companion to International Humanitarian Law, Brill, 2018, pp. 179-182.

Smith, Crispin. Independent without independence: the Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga in international law. Harvard international law journal, Vol. 59, no. 1, 2018, p. 245 – 277

Zamir, Noam, The classification of armed conflicts between occupying states and non-state armed groups in cases of belligerent occupation. Cambridge International Law Journal, Vol. 7, issue 1, 2018, pp. 145-163.

International Humanitarian Law / International Human Rights Law (general)

Bartels, Rogier, The relationship between international humanitarian law and the notion of State sovereignty, Journal of conflict and security law, Vol 23, issue 3, 461-486

Berkes, Aantal, The standard of due diligence as a result of interchange between the law of armed conflict and general international law, Journal of conflict and security law, Vol 23, issue 3, p433-460

Casalin, Deborah, A green light turning red? The potential influence of human rights on developing customary legal protection against conflict-driven displacement. Human rights and international legal discourse, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, p. 62-78

Clapham, Andrew. Human rights in armed conflict: metaphors, maxims, and the move to interoperability. Human rights and international legal discourse, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, p. 9 -22

Dijk, Boyd van. Human rights in war: on the entangled foundations of the 1949 Geneva conventions. American journal of international law, Vol. 112, issue 4, 2018, p. 553, 582

Ford, Christopher, M., Williams, Winston, S., Complex Battlespaces: The Law of Armed Conflict and the Dynamics of Modern Warfare. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.

Henckaerts, Jean-Marie and Nohle, Ellen. Concurrent application of international humanitarian law and international human rights law revisited.  Human rights and international legal discourse, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, p. 23-43.

Hill-Cawthorne, Lawrence, Rights under International humanitarian law, European Journal of International Law, Vol 28, No. 4 (2018).

Jorritsma, Remy, Where general international law meets international humanitarian law: attribution of conduct and the classification of armed conflicts, Journal of conflict and security law, Vol 23, issue 3, p405-431.

Longobardo, Marco, The contribution of international humanitarian law to the development of the law of responsibility regarding obligations erga omnes and erga omnes partes, Journal of conflict and security law, Vol 23, issue 3, p383-404.

Macak, Kubo. Internationalized Armed Conflicts in International Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Mantilla, Giovanni. Forum isolation: social opprobrium and the origins of the international law of internal conflict. In: International organization, Vol. 72, Spring 2018, p. 317 – 349

Nahlawi, Yasmine. Forcible displacement as a weapon of war in the Syrian conflict: lessons and developments. Armed conflict and forcible displacement: individual rights under international law. London; New York; Routledge, 2018, p. 191 – 220

Park, Ian. The Right to Life in Armed Conflict. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018

Richemond-Barak, Daphne. Underground warfare. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Rodiles, Alejandro. Law and violence in the global south: the legal framing of Mexico’s ‘Narco War’. Journal of conflict and security law, Vol. 23, issue 2, 2018, p. 269 – 281

Samit D’Cunha, The Notion of external NIACs: Reconsidering the intensity threshold in light of contemporary armed conflicts. Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 20, 2017 (published 2018).

Sari, Aurel, Legal Resilience in an Era of Gray Zone Conflicts and Hybrid Threats, Exeter Centre for International Law, Working Paper, 201/1.

Todeschini, Vito, The impact of international humanitarian law on the principle of systemic integration, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol 23, issue 3, p359-382.

Vedel Kessing, Peter, Soft law instruments regulating armed conflict. Are international human rights standards reflected? Human rights and international legal discourse, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, p. 79-98.

Yip, Ka Lok, What does the jurisdictional hurdle under IHRL mean for the relationship between IHRL and IHL? Human rights and international legal discourse, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, p. 99-119.

Sources of International Law

Bellal, Annyssa; Heffes, Ezequiel. ‘Yes I do’: binding armed non-state actors to IHL and human rights norms through their consent. Human rights and international legal discourse, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, p. 120 – 136

Fortin, Katharine, How to cope with diversity while preserving unity in customary international law? Some insights from international humanitarian law, Journal of conflict and security law, Vol 23, issue 3, 2018, p337-358

Hiemstra, Heleen; Nohle, Ellen, The role of non-State armed groups in the development and interpretation of international humanitarian law, Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 20, 2017 (published 2018), 3-35.

Kleczkowska, Agata, Armed Non-State Actors and Customary International Law. Non-State Actors and International Obligations, Brill, 2018, pp. 60-85.

Kassoti, Eva. Ad Hoc Commitments by Non-State Armed Actors: The Continuing Relevance of State Consent. Non-State Actors and International Obligations, Brill, 2018, pp. 86-106.

Jus ad Bellum

Hakimi, Monica, “The Jus Ad Bellum’s Regulatory Form.” American Journal of International Law, Vol 112, issue 2 2018, pp.151-90.

Dannenbaum, Tom. The Crime of Aggression, Humanity, and the Soldier, Cambridge University Press, 2018

Dannenbaum, Tom. The Criminalization of Aggression and Soldiers’ Rights. European Journal of International Law. Vol. 29, no. 3, 2018, pp. 859–886

Brunee, Jutta. Self-defence against non-state actors: are powerful states willing but unable to change international law?. International and comparative law quarterly, Vol. 67, issue 2, 2018, p. 263 – 286

International Criminal Law

Adams, Alexandra, The legacy of the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and their contribution to the crime of rape, European journal of International Law, Vol. 29, issue 3, pp. 749-769.

Bartels, Rogier, The interplay between IHRL and IHL during international criminal trials, Human rights and international legal discourse, Vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, p44-61

Bartels, Rogier, A fine line between protection and humanisation: the interplay between the scope of application of international humanitarian law and jurisdiction over alleged war crimes under international criminal law. Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 20, 2017 (published December 2018), p. 37-74.

Chehtman, Alejandro, Revisionist just war theory and the concept of war crimes. Leiden journal of international law, Vol. 31, no 1, 2018, p. 171 – 194

McCarthy, Amy H., Erosion of the rule of law as a basis for command responsibility under international humanitarian law. Chicago journal of international law, Vol. 18, no. 2, 2018, p. 553 – 593

Targeting and Detention

Boogard, van den, Jeroen & Vermeer, Arjen, Precautions in attack and urban and siege warfare, Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 20, 2017 (published December 2018), p163-198.

Boogaard, van den, Jeroen, Knock on the roof: legitimate warning or method of warfare? Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 19, 2016 (published 2018)

Dworkin, Anthony. Individual, not collective: justifying the resort to force against members of  non-state armed groups. International law studies, Vol. 93, 2017, p. 476 – 525

Gaggioli, Gloria. Targeting Individuals Belonging to an Armed Group. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 51, Issue 3, 2018, pp. 901-917.

Greenawalt, Alexander K.A., Targeted capture. Harvard international law journal, Vol. 59, no. 1, 2018, p. 1 – 57

Kingah, Stephen. Legal treatment of Boko Haram militants captured by Cameroon. Revue africaine de driot international et compare = African journal of international and comparative law, T. 26, no 1, 2018, p. 44 – 63

McCormack, Tim. International Humanitarian Law and the Targeting of Data. International law studies, Vol. 94, 2018, p. 222 – 240

Olasolo Héctor and Tenorio-Obando, Felipe. Are the targets of aerial spraying operations in Colombia lawful under international humanitarian law? Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 20, 2017 (published December 2018), p229-252.

Patrik Holterhus,Till.  Targeting the Islamic State’s religious personnel under international humanitarian law, Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Vol 19, 2016 (published 2018), p199-228.

Rodenhauser, Tilman. Strengthening IHL protecting persons deprived of their liberty: Main aspects of the consultations and discussions since 2011. International review of the red cross, IRRC No. 903, 2018

Schmitt, Michael N; Highfill, Chad E. Invisible injuries: concussive effects and international humanitarian law. Harvard national security journal, Vol. 9, issue 1, 2018, p. 72 – 99

Sivakumaran, Sandesh. Armed conflict-related detention of particularly vulnerable persons: challenges and possibilities. International law studies, Vol. 94, 2018, p. 39 – 74

Teferra, Zelalem Mogessie. National security and the right to liberty in armed conflict: The legality and limits of security detention in international humanitarian law. International review of the red cross, IRRC No. 903

Tominaga, Yasutaka. Killing two birds with one stone? Examining the diffusion effect of militant leadership decapitation. International studies quarterly, Vol 62, issue 1, 2018, p. 54 – 68

Weapon Technologies

Agwu, Fred Aja. Armed drones and globalization in the asymmetric war on terror: challenges for the law of armed conflict and global politic economy. New York ; London : Routledge, 2018

Boothby, William. Dehumanization: is there a legal problem under article 36?. In: Dehumanization of warfare: legal implication of new weapons technologies. Cham : Springer, 2018

Dickinson, Laura A. Drones, automated weapons, and private military contractors: challenges to domestic and international legal regimes governing armed conflict. New technologies for human rights law and practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018, p. 93 – 123

Frau, Robert. New weapon systems as a challenge to international humanitarian law. Journal for international law of peace and armed conflict, issue 1-2, 2018, p. 5 – 18

Grimal, Francis; Sundaram Jae. Combat drones: hives, swarms, and autonomous action?. Journal of conflict and security law, Vol. 23, no. 1, 2018, p. 105 – 135

Heinsch, Robert. Modern drone warfare and the geographical scope of application of IHL: pushing the limits of territorial boundaries? Research handbook on remote warfare, Cheltenham: Northampton: E. Elgar, 2017, p. 79 – 109

Heintschel von Heinegg, Wolff; Frau, Robert; Singer, Tassilo. (eds.). Dehumanization of warfare: legal implications of new weapon technologies. Cham : Springer, 2018

Heintschel von Heinegg, Wolff; Frau, Robert; Singer, Tassilo. Meaningful human control – and the politics of international law. In: Dehumanization of warfare : legal implications of new weapon technologies. Cham : Springer, 2018

Homayounnejad, Maziar. Autonomous weapon systems, drone swarming and the explosive remnants of war. London: Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, 2018

Kolossa, Stephan. Cyberspace as a chance, a threat and a weapon?. Journal for international law of peace and armed conflict, issue 1-2, 2018, p. 151 – 169

Mathur, Ritu. Human rights as a new standard of civilization in weapons control?. Alternatives: global, local, political, 2018, p. 1 – 17

Stadlmeier, Sigmar. CPU and Keyboard: Weapons of Mass Disruption?. In: Dehumanization of warfare: legal implications of new weapon technologies. Cham : Springer, 2018

Foreign Fighters

Murray, Alexander. Terrorist or armed opposition group fighter?: the experience of UK courts and the implications for public international law. In: International community law review, Vol. 20, no. 3-4, 2018, p. 281 – 310

International Responsibility

Eatwell, Tatyana. State Responsibility, ‘Successful’ Insurrectional Movements and Governments of National Reconciliation. Non-State Actors and International Obligations, Brill, 2018, pp. 388-405.

Fortin, Katharine. The Relevance of Article 9 of the Articles on State Responsibility for the Internationally Wrongful Acts of Armed Groups. Non-State Actors and International Obligations, Brill, 2018, pp. 371-387.

Transitional Justice

Blázquez Rodríguez, Paloma. Does an Armed Group have an Obligation to Provide Reparations to Its Victims? Construing an Obligation to Provide Reparations for Violations of International Humanitarian Law. Non-State Actors and International Obligations, Brill, 2018, pp. 406-428.

Villacampa, Carolina. Human trafficking for criminal exploitation and participation in armed conflicts: the Colombian case. Crime, law and social change, No. 69, 2018, p. 421 – 444

Olasolo, Hector. The colombian integrated system of truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition. Journal of international criminal justice, Vol. 15, issue 5, 2017, p. 1011 – 1047

Druckman, Daniel; Wagnar, Lynn. Justice matter: peace negotiations, stable agreements, durable peace. Journal of conflict resolution, Vol. 63, issue 2, 2019, p. 287 – 316

Marshall, Michael C. Foreign rebel sponsorship: a patron-client analysis of party viability in elections following negotiated settlements, Journal of conflict resolution, Vol. 63, issue 2, p. 555 – 584

Lawther, Cheryl. The truth about loyalty: emotion, ex-combatants and transitioning from the past. International journal of transitional justice, Vol. 11, issue 3, 2017, p. 484 – 504

Parra, Tatiana Sanchez. The hollow shell: children born of war and the realities of the armed conflict in Colombia. International journal of transitional justice, Vol. 12, issue 1, 2018, p. 45 – 63

Druckman, Daniel; Wagner, Lynn. Justice matters: peace negotiations, stable agreements and durable peace. Journal of conflict resolution, Vol. 63, issue 2, 2019, p. 287 – 316


Chatham House, Proportionality in the Conduct of Hostilities: The Incidental Harm Side of the Assessment (author: Emanuela-Chiara Gillard), 2018

ICRC. The Roots of Restraint in War, 2018.

Geneva Call, Culture under Fire: Armed Non-State Actors and Cultural Heritage in Wartime, 2018.

Geneva Call, Administration of Justice by Armed Non-State Actors. Report from the 2017 Garance Talks, 2018.

Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats

January 31, 2019

A while back, we published a call for papers for the forthcoming conference at Exeter Centre for International Law on ‘Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats’.

Registration for the conference is now open, and I’ve been asked to post the following announcement below inviting registration.

The Exeter Centre for International Law is delighted to invite you to a conference on “Legal Resilience in an Era of Hybrid Threats” on 8–10 April 2019 at the University of Exeter. The aim of the event is to explore the legal challenges presented by lawfare, hybrid threats and gray zone conflict and to develop the notion of legal resilience as a framework for countering these challenges more effectively. Confirmed speakers include Professor Jutta Brunnée (Toronto), Brigadier General (ret) Richard Gross, Professor Melissa de Zwart (Adelaide), Marlene Mazel (Israel, Ministry of Justice), Professor Geoffrey Corn (South Texas), Professor Charlie Dunlap (Duke).

The event is held in collaboration with the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the Lieber Institute of the United States Military Academy.

Further details, including the draft conference programme, are available at The full conference rate includes accommodation and all meals, including the conference reception and dinner. A reduced rate is available to students enrolled full-time on higher education programmes.

News Roundup – January 2019

January 31, 2019

Thanks to student assistant Sam Jackson for the preparation of this monster news roundup for January. In general, we plan to keep doing weekly news roundups, as we know that they they are much easier to read than monthly roundups!

1st January – 7th January

War-weary Syrians in Kurdish-held Manbij wait to learn fate

Turkish-backed rebels pushing for further mass displacement from Afrin: Monitor

Syria rebel-jihadist clashes intensify, 50 dead

Documenting the death of 976 individuals due to torture in Syria in 2018

Clashes between ‘radical’ fighters and rebels ‘leave 31 dead in western Aleppo’

Next round of Yemen talks could be in Amman: rebels

Iraq’s ‘ISIS families’ are a recipe for future conflict

Egypt, Israel in close cooperation against Sinai fighters: Sisi

Yemen: Houthi rebels’ food aid theft only tip of iceberg, officials say

Two killed as Tunisian security forces storm armed group hideout

Yemen govt reports Hodeidah rebel ‘attacks’ to UN

In Yemen, Iran-aligned rebels tighten their grip through fear and intimidation

13 killed in intercommunal violence in Burkina Faso

Algeria shuts southern borders to Syrians over security fears

Somalia: Al Shabaab parades 13 soldiers defected from Jubaland

Attack on UN compound in Somalia may be ‘violation of international humanitarian law’

Armed attackers kill 37 Fulani civilians in Mali

Sudanese opposition groups issue declaration for regime change

‘Bandits’ kill 10 troops along Niger-Nigeria border

Colombia Farc: 85 ex-rebels killed since peace deal

An ordinary Kashmiri’s appeal for peace

Thousands flee clashes between Buddhist group and Myanmar army

Death toll hits a new peak in Indian Kashmir

Two killed in bombing in troubled south Philippines

8th January – 14th January

Syria’s Idlib province seized by HTS militants after deal with rebels

HTS offensive could draw in Syria and Turkey

Rebels regroup in northern Syria following truce with HTS militants

Syrian jihadists press attack on Turkish-backed rebels

Two ‘American IS fighters’ captured by Syrian militia

UN experts warns of growing influence of Sudanese armed groups in Libya

Yemen soldiers killed in Houthi drone attack on base

Libya’s militias should not run prisons: UN chief

Houthis have no intention of implementing Swedish agreement, says coalition

UN: Human trafficking worsens as children used as sex slaves

Kenya’s new security conundrum after ousting al-Shabab

Armed groups postpone Darfur peace talks in support of Sudan’s uprising

12 civilians killed in jihadist attack in Burkina Faso

Up close with Gafaranga, a child soldier who escaped a militia group

Colombia: Missing Farc leader Ivan Marquez reappears on video

Violence skyrocketing in Colombian municipality

Funeral held for Kashmir rebel leader killed in clash

EU, UN urges armed actors in Rakhine to spare civilians

Thailand: Insurgents bomb school, attack hospital

Myanmar army to launch ‘crackdown’ on Rakhine rebels

15th January – 21st January

The weaponization of artificial intelligence

Syria’s Kurdish fighters ready to help set up ‘safe zone’

‘Yemen’s Houthi militia using Iranian-made drone aircraft’: Arab coalition

Ashrawi of PLO: Trump administration is Israel’s partner in targeting UNRWA and Palestinian refugees

Sadr urges technocrats as armed factions look beyond the border

Armed groups in Sabha, Murziq reject joining Haftar’s forces

Libya: Civilians under threat from militias

Two days of clashes near Libya capital leave 10 dead

Iraqi airstrike kills three Islamic State terrorists in Kirkuk

East Libyan forces heading south to secure oil sites

Kenyans face up to ‘homegrown’ threat after hotel attack

10 UN peacekeepers killed in attack on Mali’s Aguelhoc camp

Thousands flee as militants kill more than 100 soldiers in northeast Nigeria: aid agencies

UN: Sudan, armed groups violate international sanctions

Why is Kenya an al-Shabab target?

Canada ‘appalled’ by killing of its national in Burkina Faso

Several killed in attack on upscale Nairobi hotel complex

Sudan’s al-Bashir mocks armed groups over delay of Darfur peace talks

In eastern Burkina Faso, local grievances help militancy take root

Bogota blast blamed on one-armed bomb expert linked to rebel group

Fleeing crisis, some Venezuelans are recruited by rebel forces fighting in Colombia

For enduring peace, Colombia must protect advocates for rights and prosecute war crimes

Myanmar army kills 13 in attack on Rakhine rebels

UN rights expert calls for civilian protection as fighting escalates between military and armed group

Thailand: Insurgents kill Buddhist monks

Over 1000 Rohingya flee India for Bangladesh fearing crackdown

Villagers escape armed group

Four arrested over Northern Ireland car bomb, New IRA suspected

22nd January – 28th January

Preparing for the future: Insurgents get a vote

Cease-fire in Syria’s Idlib province is at risk after extremists take over

KSrelief strongly condemns the Houthi’s indiscriminate shelling of Shalilah IDPs camp in Hajjah governorate in Yemen, killing eight people and wounding 30

OIC calls for ‘end to Israel’s assaults on Palestinian prisoners’

CAR unrest: Govt and rebels hold talks in Sudan

Saudi envoy says Hodeidah deal make-or-break for Yemen peace efforts

Libya militias agree to end clashes south of capital

Scores of Afghan troops killed in suicide bombing claimed by Taliban

Nigeria: Armed conflict continues to uproot thousands, driving up humanitarian need

Colombia’s ELN rebel commanders in Havana deny role in blast

Colombia pressures Cuba to turn over ELN rebel leaders

Islamic State claims responsibility for the Philippines church bombings that killed at least 20 people

Twin explosions kill 20 people at Philippines cathedralIs the southern Thailand insurgency ramping up again?

OJ Symposium on Internationalized Armed Conflicts in International Law

January 25, 2019

Readers interested in conflict classification and internationalised armed conflicts should take a look at the recent symposium on Kubo Macak’s excellent book Internationalized Armed Conflicts in International Law.

During the symposium, nine different authors – Susan BreauBill BoothbyAnne QuintinLaurie BlankTamás HoffmannmyselfElvina PotheletPriya Pillai, and Alonso Gurmendi – commented on the book, each focusing on slightly different aspects and then Kubo finished up with a final post.

The authors taking part in the symposium raised, and prompted reflection on, a number of fascinating and difficult questions, such as:-

  1. Is there such a thing as an internationalized armed conflict? (see here, here and here)
  2. Can/ should the rules of IAC apply to a non-State party acting jointly with (but not under the overall control of) a State in hostilities against another State? (see here, here and here)
  3. Is there an inherent illogicality in establishing an IAC (through the application of the overall control test) without necessarily being able to attribute the use of force to the State (through the application of the effective control test)? And what do we do with the responsibility gap that is created, if this position is adopted? (see here)
  4. Will an existing IAC make it easier for a nascent NIAC to meet the intensity threshold? (see here)
  5. Are the members of an armed group under the control of a third State bound by the rules of GCIII re. POWs, in the same way as a State’s regular armed forces? (see here)
  6. How convincing is the argument that a State’s own citizens become protected persons during an internationalized conflict? (see here and here)
  7. Are unilateral declarations by armed groups binding (see here)?
  8. Does combatant privilege grant immunity from prosecution or deprive acts that comply with IHL of their criminal character? (see here and here)
  9. Is it possible that immunity flowing from the internationalization of a NIAC into a IAC could end up being an obstacle – rather than facilitator – of peace and reconciliation? (see here and here)
  10. Is the threshold of the definition of irregular armed forces under Article 4 of GCIII more relaxed – or stricter – than the threshold in Articles 43 and 44 of API? (see here and here)
  11. Can an armed group ever be an occupying force in a state’s territory? (see here and here)
  12. What is the role of State consent in the process of the internationalization of a conflict? (here)
  13. Does the internationalization of a NIAC into an IAC affect the legal personality of the armed group? (see here and here)

If you’re looking for some good questions for your next IHL exam, look no further….!

AHRI Conference 2019 Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law: Challenges Ahead – Call for papers

January 24, 2019

Please find below the text of the call:-

As the largest inter-disciplinary and general research conference on human rights, the AHRI 2019 Conference (6th-7th September 2019 in Potsdam, Germany) welcomes both individual papers and panels exploring the themes set out below. The 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 gave rise to the leading overall theme  “Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law:  Challenges Ahead”, but proposals do not need to be limited to that because the AHRI research conference will be a general platform for discussing new human rights research issues.  The six primary tracks allow to deal with a broad variety of questions linked to the overall theme of the conference. Preference will be given to strong proposals falling within one of the following tracks, under which several panels will be organised. The following list is not exhaustive, but more illustrative in character. Additional topics or proposals are therefore welcome. Contributions to these topics are appreciated not only from a legal perspective, but also from philosophical, political, sociological and other viewpoints.

1.Historical Development

This track wants to make use of a historical perspective on the two bodies of law. How did they evolve over time and influence each other, and which actors influenced the development under which circumstances?

1) Namibia and beyond: the applicability of IHL and IHRL in colonial situations: past, present and current repercussions  

2) Cross-fertilization revisited: the history of the impact of IHRL on IHL and vice versa  

 3) Actors of the historical development of IHRL and IHL compared: States, international organizations and beyond 

2. General Questions 

In this track, we welcome submissions discussing implications on the doctrine of international law. Do we face a fragmentation with consequences for the interpretation of the bodies of law? Or, on the contrary, will a common framework emerge?

1) IHL and IHRL: two fundamentally divergent epistemological communities – are we still speaking the same language?

2) Interpreting IHL and IHRL norms: do the same methods apply?

3) Extraterritorial application of human rights obligations: any limits left?

4) Applying IHL over time: the case of long-term situations of belligerent occupation

5) Status of forces agreements and human rights obligations of the receiving State

6) Developing monitoring mechanisms in IHL: what lessons are to be learnt from IHRL?

7) Legal obligations for non-state actors: can IHL and IHRL learn from each other?

3. Institutions

Who provides substantial interpretations of the applicable law? Human rights bodies and courts tend to favour an extensive interpretation of human rights and, increasingly, give interpretations of international law from such an extended human rights perspective. What are the consequences for IHL and the traditionally driving forces in that area, the ICRC and States, as well as for the ICC?

1) Politicized application of IHL? – the case of the Human Rights Council

2) Issues of IHL before regional human rights courts

3) Human treaty bodies and IHL

4) Impact of IHRL on the jurisprudence of the ICC

5) ICRC and IHRL

4. Specific Situations 

International and non-international armed conflicts, as well as peace operations may threaten human rights and thus lead to specific challenges for international human rights law. Informational warfare and cyber activities did add a new dimension.

1) Unmanned weapons, artificial intelligence and IHRL

2) Naval blockades and social and economic rights

3) Peace-keeping operations and human rights obligations

4) Information warfare and human rights obligations

5) Cultural and religious identities during armed conflicts

 5. Specific Groups and Rights

This track welcomes submissions looking at the implications of situations of armed conflicts for vulnerable groups such as women or children, refugees or detainees. A second focus may shed light on specific human rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of information that may be infringed during armed conflicts or situations of occupation.

1) Detainees in non-international armed conflicts

2) CEDAW and women in situations of armed conflict

3) CRC and children in situations of armed conflict

4) Situations of armed conflict and disappearances: what obligations do apply under IHL and under human rights law?

5) Refugees and (internally) displaced persons in situations of armed conflict

6) Freedom of information and the press and freedom of assembly in armed conflict

 6. Jus Post Bellum

Peace processes do not end once a peace agreement has been signed. Post-conflict situations need specific investments in order to achieve a lasting peace. Are there implications on the human rights of all groups of the population? In this section, we might also deal with questions of transitional justice.  

1) Reaching peace: an inherent limitation of human rights obligations? 

2) Protecting vulnerable ethnic groups and minorities in post-conflict situations

3) Dealing with persons responsible for human rights and IHL violations: do the same standards apply?  

4) What remedies for IHL violations lessons learnt from IHRL?

Abstracts are to be submitted via the following link: (open from 15th February 2019 onwards).

Further information available at:

Podcast on internment in NIAC – Intercross blog

January 17, 2019

New podcast from Intercross Blog on the debate re. internment in non-international armed conflict.