ICRC Panels on Law of Naval Warfare, Military Commissions at International Law Weekend in NYC October 20-21, 2017

ICRC Panels on Law of Naval Warfare, Military Commissions at International Law Weekend in NYC October 20-21, 2017

The American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and the International Law Students Association (ILSA) is hosting their annual International Law Weekend (ILW) conference in New York City from October 19-21, 2017. Theevent brings together hundreds of practitioners, law professors, members of governmental and non-governmental organizations, and students. The theme of ILW 2017 is “International Law in Challenging Times.” For our NYC-based readers, there will be two panels featuring ICRC speakers. The full schedule is available here. Register here

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Changing the narrative on IHL (A Live-Streamed Event)

Changing the narrative on IHL (A Live-Streamed Event)

On September 27, 2017 from 12 PM to 1:45 PM EST, a live-streamed expert panel at the Humanitarium will reflect on ways to reframe the narrative on IHL by focusing on contemporary examples of respect.  Based on the promotion of instances of respect, the panel will reflect on new approaches and initiatives to reaffirm the relevance and usefulness of IHL and improve respect for it.  The conference is part of the ICRC's Conference Cycle on Generating respect for the law and will be live-streamed here.

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Official Launch of the Updated Commentary on the First Geneva Convention

Official Launch of the Updated Commentary on the First Geneva Convention

Today, the ICRC released the updated Commentary to the first Geneva Convention,  which addresses a range of important issues such as the scope of the obligation to respect and ensure respect for humanitarian law, the beginning and end of armed conflict and the protection of the wounded and sick, medical facilities and personnel. 

In this featured Q&A video, Chris Harland, Legal Advisor for the ICRC Regional Delegation for the U.S. and Canada, has provided insight to some of the questions surrounding the release of the updated commentaries.

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ICRC Launches New Guidance Bolstering Relevance of Geneva Conventions

ICRC Launches New Guidance Bolstering Relevance of Geneva Conventions

"The Geneva Conventions are not just some historical documents born of another time, they are of burning relevance and importance today, and we need to ensure that their enormous humanitarian potential is recognized and acted upon by all." – ICRC Director of International Law and Policy, Helen Durham speaking about the role the new Commentaries can play in bringing the Conventions into the 21st century.

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Speech given by Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, at the 31st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Speech given by Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, at the 31st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

The president of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, addressed the 31st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on March 1, 2016. He drove home the importance of preventing violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law as "the best way to counter the long-term impact of protracted conflicts."

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Upcoming ICRC Event at UC Berkeley: Stopping War Crimes Before They Happen

Upcoming ICRC Event at UC Berkeley: Stopping War Crimes Before They Happen

The ICRC is co-sponsoring an event on March 28, 2016 with the American Red Cross, the American Society for International Law’s Lieber Society, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society and the Berkeley Human Rights Center. The event aims to answer questions on generating greater respect for International Humanitarian Law.

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Gender Perspectives on IHL

Gender Perspectives on IHL

Last week the ICRC's Director of Law and Policy, Helen Durham, participated in a podcast hosted by The Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) at Harvard University. The podcast brings together experts from diverse backgrounds to consider how the practical implementation and enforcement of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) affects men, women, girls and boys differently.

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Prevention in Practice: Teaching IHL in US Legal Academia

Prevention in Practice: Teaching IHL in US Legal Academia

Today we are sharing a piece by Kate Jastram, a professor at the University of California in Berkeley.  The article is a shortened version of a piece that she and Anne Quintin wrote for the International Review's issue on Generating Respect for the Law.  Their article discusses the progress of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) integration in US legal academia and charts a course forward.

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No agreement by States on Mechanism to Strengthen Compliance with rules of War

No agreement by States on Mechanism to Strengthen Compliance with rules of War

After four years of extensive consultations, States have been unable to agree on a new mechanism proposed by the ICRC and the government of Switzerland to strengthen compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL). The decision was taken at the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which draws to a close today in Geneva.

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The Obligation to Prevent Violations of International Humanitarian Law

The Obligation to Prevent Violations of International Humanitarian Law

Contemporary armed conflicts – like those in Syria, South Sudan or Ukraine, to name but a few – illustrate how lack of respect for the law has become one of the biggest challenges facing IHL today. It is against this backdrop that the obligation to “respect and ensure respect” in all circumstances, enshrined in Common Article 1 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and Article 1 of the 1977 Additional Protocol, becomes of critical importance. In a recent article in the International Review of the Red Cross, we discussed this legal obligation in detail; this blogpost provides a snapshot of our argument.

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Anniversary of the Adoption of the Red Crescent Emblem

Anniversary of the Adoption of the Red Crescent Emblem

Today marks the 86th anniversary of the adoption of the Red Crescent as an official symbol of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on July 27, 1929.  Both emblems have served as a symbol of humanitarian assistance for more than a century, and were later joined by a third emblem, a red crystal, in 2005.  Here's a brief history of the emblems. 

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Opinion Piece: Rejecting Torture Is the Right Thing to Do

Opinion Piece: Rejecting Torture Is the Right Thing to Do

As today marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we have chosen to re-post an opinion piece written by ICRC's President, Peter Maurer.  The piece was originally published in the Huffington Post in December 2014.

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Joint series: Where IHL and IHRL intersect - Part II of Ken Watkin's guest post

Joint series: Where IHL and IHRL intersect - Part II of Ken Watkin's guest post

Throughout the month of September, Intercross, along with two other blogs - Lawfare andEJIL:Talk! - is running a series of articles following up on this summer’s 2nd annual Tansatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict, which took place in Oxford in July. Today, Brigadier General Kenneth "Ken" Watkin brings us the second of a two-part article on the overlap between IHL and IHRL. Ken, who served as a JAG with the Canadian Armed Forces and is an expert on military law, offers his take from a North American perspective. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the ICRC or the other blogs taking part in this series.

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