Use of Force

[Craig Martin is a Professor at Washburn University School of Law, specializing in legal constraints on the use of force and armed conflict, in both international law and comparative constitutional law. He can be found on Twitter: @craigxmartin.] It is now widely accepted that the climate change crisis is going to contribute to increasing levels of armed conflict among and within states in the coming decades....

Featured Announcement BIICL Training Courses Spring 2021 The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) now offers training courses in a virtual format. BIICL virtual courses are led by the Institute's leading researchers, together with external experts and distinguished practitioners. The course format consists of a series of sessions in which live teaching is offered via Zoom. Participants are able to...

[Srinivas Burra is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Legal Studies, South Asian University, New Delhi.]  Agreements facilitating humanitarian access to persons deprived of liberty play a significant role in promoting humanitarian principles in armed conflict situations. This post deals with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the consequences of its non-compliance. Premised on the...

[Sheila Paylan is an international human rights lawyer and former legal advisor for the United Nations.] On 3 December 2020, the French National Assembly joined the French Senate in passing resolutions nearly unanimously calling on the French government to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and use such recognition as an instrument of negotiations for the establishment of a sustainable peace. The French Parliament thus became the first...

[Lucy Geddes is an Australian human rights lawyer and is currently the head of Legal Action Worldwide’s Sri Lanka office.] On  19 November 2020, the Australian Chief of Defence Force announced the findings of Brereton Report which allege the existence of credible evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the Australian Defence Force in Afghanistan. The release of the Report, following a four year inquiry commissioned by the...

[Audrey Wabwire is A Nairobi-based media manager at Human Rights Watch.] What’s the path to justice after years of conflict, during which widespread atrocities were committed? This is a question that South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, confronts. After nearly seven years of conflict ended with the signing of a peace deal in September 2018, South Sudan finally established a transitional national unity government earlier this...

[Clive Baldwin is a Senior Legal Advisor for the legal and policy office at Human Rights Watch.] UK nationals committed abuses in Iraq after 2003 on a significant scale. The International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) Final Report on the UK and Iraq on December 9 is the latest official report to find that members of UK armed forces subjected Iraqi detainees to abuse,...

[Marta Bo is a Researcher at the Graduate Institute (LAWS and War Crimes Project) and at the T.M.C. Asser Institute.] Meaningful Human Control is at the core of regulatory and ethical debates on autonomous weapon systems. In international discussions and writings, the problem of meaningful human control has been addressed from different angles: from philosophical, ethical and legal (here and here), to operational, cognitive and...

A number of us -- me, Aurel Sari, Eliav Lieblich, Andrew Bell, Sasha Greenawalt, Craig Martin, Ed Swaine -- have been having an interesting discussion on Twitter about two important issues concerning the use of force. The first is when IHL begins to apply in an IAC. The traditional position is that any use of interstate force triggers IHL and...

[Charles C. Jalloh is a Professor of Law at Florida International University and Founding Editor, African Journal of  Legal Studies and African Journal of International Criminal Justice. He is a member of the International Law Commission. His latest book is The Legal Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (Cambridge, 2020).] It was a pleasure to have been invited to this...

This week, we have the pleasure of hosting an exciting discussion on Jennifer Trahan's award-winning book, Existing Legal Limits to Security Council Veto Power in the Face of Atrocity Crimes, published by Cambridge University Press. From the Publisher: In this book, the author outlines three independent bases for the existence of legal limits to the veto by UN Security Council permanent members...

[Eve Massingham is a Senior Research Fellow with the School of Law at The University of Queensland.] Over the coming months there will be considerable attention, both in Australia and internationally, on the findings of the Brereton Inquiry into crimes alleged to have been committed by Australian special forces operating in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. The report specifically identifies 19...