In this episode of Intercross the Podcast, we speak with Erica Gaston, an international lawyer and project manager at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, to discuss the legal aspects and humanitarian consequences of the use of self-defense in armed conflict. International humanitarian law addresses the rules for soldiers, armies and States, when they conduct offensive attacks, but it does not directly address the rules governing self-defense. So what are the limits on the use of force when individuals and units are defending themselves in combat situations?
Erica shares the various types of self-defense seen in armed conflict: individual self-defense, unit self-defense, and national self-defense. She discusses the origins of the legal frameworks that apply to each respective category, as well as the gaps that exist in the law when it comes to IHL and self-defense.
Erica also discusses how self-defense has been incorporated into customary IHL, and potential operational and humanitarian concerns that arise out of self-defense frameworks that are framed too broadly or too narrowly. Hosted by Niki Clark and ICRC's Legal Advisor Andrea Harrison.
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