Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: Wounded and Sick and the Proportionality Assessment

Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: Wounded and Sick and the Proportionality Assessment

In the final installment of our Transatlantic Dialogue Series, Jann K. Kleffner discusses the wounded, sick and the proportionality assessment. Mr. Kleffner is Professor of International Law and Head of the Centre for International and Operational Law at the Swedish Defence University. His research is on public international law, with a special focus on the international law of military operations, including the law of armed conflict and peace operations, jus ad bellum, international criminal law, and human rights law.

Read More

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

Read More

Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: The obligation to “Ensure Respect” for IHL; The Debate Continues

Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: The obligation to “Ensure Respect” for IHL; The Debate Continues

In the first installment of our Transatlantic Dialogue Series, Marten Zwanenburg discusses ensuring respect for IHL. Mr. Zwanenburg is the Legal Counsel at the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands. The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, any other part of the Government of the Netherlands or ICRC or the other blogs taking part in this series.

Read More

Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: Introduction to a Joint Blog Series

Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: Introduction to a Joint Blog Series

Over the coming weeks, three blogs - IntercrossEJIL:Talk!, and Lawfare - will host a joint blog symposium on International Law and Armed Conflict. The series will feature posts by some of the participants at the Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, which was held at the European University Institute in Florence in late July. As per previous years, the workshop brought together a group of academic, military, and governmental experts from both sides of the Atlantic. The roundtable, held under the Chatham House Rule, was held over two days and examined contemporary questions of international law relating to military operations.

Read More

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.

Read More

The Future of US Detention in Armed Conflict

The Future of US Detention in Armed Conflict

In May 2016, the ICRC’s Washington delegation, Harvard Law School’s PILAC, and the Naval War College’s Stockton Center held their inaugural joint International Humanitarian Law (IHL) workshop on a pressing issue: the future of US detention in armed conflict. About 30 experts, including practitioners and academics from the US and abroad, gathered for two days to discuss, debate and explore the legal intricacies surrounding the detention of foreign nationals during an armed conflict. Read the summary here.

Read More

What You Need to Know About “Safe Zones”

What You Need to Know About “Safe Zones”

There has been much talk recently about establishing “safe zones” in Syria. This debate is not new. In recent decades, concerned states have created a variety of “zones” to shelter civilians as well as the sick and wounded. Some of zones have been successful in saving thousands of people that might have otherwise been killed. Still, many other interventions have been far less successful in improving the situation for civilians at grave risk. Deputy Head of Communications Trevor Keck discusses what you need to know about safe zones. 

Read More

Fighting Global Terrorism Must Not Undermine the Integrity and Relevance of IHL

Fighting Global Terrorism Must Not Undermine the Integrity and Relevance of IHL

Stéphane Ojeda, Deputy Head & Legal Advisor for the ICRC delegation in New York wrote a compelling piece this week for the Humanitarian Law & Policy Blog where he argues that branding an armed group as “terrorist” cannot alone cancel the applicability of international humanitarian law (IHL). The vast majority of contemporary armed conflicts involve non-State armed groups with which the law of armed conflict can be addressed. In three important clarifications of the law, Ojeda shows why counter-terrorism efforts – including the ongoing negotiation of the CCIT – should take care not to undermine the integrity and relevance of IHL, as well as ongoing efforts to bring armed groups to comply with the law.

Read More

No Safe Place in Aleppo

No Safe Place in Aleppo

People in eastern Aleppo are living through “hell on earth,” the ICRC`s spokesperson in Syria told CNN last week. Hostilities have only intensified on both sides of Aleppo since then. Nowhere and no one is safe in Aleppo This has to stop. For the sake of people suffering immensely in Aleppo, let’s hope that we soon see a de-escalation of hostilities, daily humanitarian pauses that can offer relief, and a commitment by all sides to allow all those that wish to leave Aleppo to do so safely.

Read More

Stopping War Crimes Before They Happen: Preventing Violations of the Law in Armed Conflict

Stopping War Crimes Before They Happen: Preventing Violations of the Law in Armed Conflict

The Berkeley Launch of The International Review of the Red Cross on "Generating Respect for the Law." A Panel Discussion Co-sponsored by the ICRC, 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.

Read More

Opinion: Don’t leave Iraq’s displaced out of the equation

Opinion: Don’t leave Iraq’s displaced out of the equation

Humanitarian concerns in Iraq – particularly those of an estimated 3.3 million people who are internally displaced – are being overshadowed by military, security and stabilization objectives.

As Iraqi and coalition forces prepare their offensive to take back Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul from the Islamic State group, we at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are growing increasingly worried about the humanitarian crisis affecting those who have fled earlier battles, and the looming crisis that awaits the residents of Mosul and the surrounding area.

Read More

Iraq: "Fallujah Must Not Become Another Ramadi"

Iraq: "Fallujah Must Not Become Another Ramadi"

In the Iraqi city of Fallujah, the ICRC has serious concerns about the well-being and safety of civilians still trapped in and around the city. Tens of thousands of men, women, children and elderly remain stuck inside the town – the largest in Anbar province –  have already had very limited access to food, water and basic healthcare for the past two years.

Read More

Stop the insanity: ICRC President warns even wars must have limits

The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, is on a mission to get people to sit up and pay attention to the law of armed conflict. Much more importantly, he wants warring parties to fight by the rules – militaries and armed groups alike.

Read More

We Need to Talk About Sexual Violence

We Need to Talk About Sexual Violence

The ICRC's Sexual Violence Advisor, Coline Rapneau, had an experience that changed her life while she was a field delegate in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  In this strong, personal and uplifting talk Rapneau shares her opinion of how and why sexual violence should be spoken about and says we have to start a conversation, right now, right there in the room where you are watching this.

Read More

Atrocities in Conflict Mean We Need the Geneva Conventions More Than Ever

Atrocities in Conflict Mean We Need the Geneva Conventions More Than Ever

Helen Durham, ICRC's Director of International Law and Policy, authored a piece for The Guardian explaining why Atrocities occurring in modern conflict have shown that we need the Geneva conventions now more than ever and why it is dangerous to give up on them. 

Read More

Mine Awareness Day 2016: Why the Mine Ban Convention Was Worth Fighting For and Still Is

Mine Awareness Day 2016: Why the Mine Ban Convention Was Worth Fighting For and Still Is

An article written by Helen Durham, director of International Law and Policy for the ICRC. In honor of Mine Awareness Day 2016, she reminds us that "The role of the ICRC must be to continue to focus on helping the victims, educating people in the risks and working with partners specialized in mine clearance."

Read More

"On This Day in History" Western Balkans, 1998-1999

"On This Day in History" Western Balkans, 1998-1999

This week marks the meeting of the 42nd session of the working group on persons unaccounted for in connection with events in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. Officials from Belgrade and Pristina discussed further steps to be taken to clarify what happened to 1666 people who are still missing from that time. 

Under international humanitarian law, the families have the right to know what happened to their missing relatives. They have been waiting for 17 long years. 

Read More