The Relationship Between Climate Change and Conflict

The Relationship Between Climate Change and Conflict

In December 2015, 190 countries were among 50,000 participants that came together in Paris to review the 1992 UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. In today's world, no discussion of climate change is complete without consideration for how the phenomenon affects people caught up in armed conflicts, many of whom are some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world. To raise awareness of this topic, 65 Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners joined the discussions in Paris to talk about the relationship between climate change and conflict.

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International Review Series- Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack

International Review Series- Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack

In October, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a new edition of the International Review of the Red Cross titled Scope of the Law in Armed Conflict. This week we are highlighting an article from this issue titled Rewired Warfare: Rethinking the Law of Cyber Attack, by Michael Schmitt.  The article discusses the applicability of international humanitarian law on cyber, particularly the interpretation of the rules governing cyber 'attacks'. 

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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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Autonomous Legal Reasoning? Legal and Ethical Issues in the Technologies of Conflict

Autonomous Legal Reasoning? Legal and Ethical Issues in the Technologies of Conflict

On October 23, 2015, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Temple University School of Law held an invitation-only, one day workshop to discuss how the development of autonomous systems impacts questions of international humanitarian law (IHL).  Militaries have emerged with new technologies in recent years, including cyber operations, remotely piloted vehicles, automated defensive weapons, as well as the potential future development of fully autonomous lethal weapons. All these technologies share similar characteristics, most importantly their ability to operate in the absence of direct human control.  This workshop sought to engender a cross-cutting dialogue by bringing together experts with different backgrounds.  

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Governments & Red Cross Red Crescent Aim to Tackle Immense Humanitarian Challenges

Governments & Red Cross Red Crescent Aim to Tackle Immense Humanitarian Challenges

Next week, representatives of nearly every government in the world, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and partner organizations will gather in Geneva, Switzerland for the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. 

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Guest Post- A Better Way to Protect Civilians and Combatants than Weapons Bans: Strict Adherence to the Core Principles of the Law of War

Guest Post- A Better Way to Protect Civilians and Combatants than Weapons Bans: Strict Adherence to the Core Principles of the Law of War

This is the third installment in a  recent series between the ICRC and Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap (Ret.), that raise interesting questions concerning the utility of banning specific types of weapons.  

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International Review Series: Interview with Brigadier General Richard C. Gross

International Review Series: Interview with Brigadier General Richard C. Gross

This week we are highlighting an interview with Brigadier General Richard C. "Rich" Gross, Former US Army Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  This interview is from the Scope of the Law in Armed Conflict issue, which broadly discusses where, when and to whom International Humanitarian Law (IHL) applies. In the interview, Brigadier General Gross discusses the role that IHL plays in his then position, current trends in armed conflicts, standards of detention and more.

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Syria: Vienna talks must focus on respect for International Humanitarian Law

Syria: Vienna talks must focus on respect for International Humanitarian Law

As major powers gather in Vienna for fresh talks to try to end the conflict in Syria, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has called on states to intensify efforts to ease the Syrian people’s suffering by increasing respect for International Humanitarian Law.

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On the Utility of Weapon Bans and Restrictions - Anti-personnel Mines, Cluster Munitions and Blinding Lasers

On the Utility of Weapon Bans and Restrictions - Anti-personnel Mines, Cluster Munitions and Blinding Lasers

A recent series of posts by distinguished legal scholar and Retired U.S. Air Force Major General Charles Dunlap on the Just Security blog raise interesting questions concerning the utility of banning specific types of weapons.  The ICRC takes this opportunity to outline its perspective, drawn from many decades of operational experience, on what the bans on anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions, and blinding lasers have meant for the victims of armed conflict.  

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Stop the violence. Protect health care.

Stop the violence. Protect health care.

In the last few months, a number of attacks against health-care workers, medical transports and facilities have taken place in several countries, like Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen to mention a few. These incidents are taking place in countries with fragile health-care systems that are already struggling to treat the numbers of people affected by the ongoing conflicts there. In some cases, the situation is made yet worse by the restrictions placed on aid workers, preventing them from getting to the people who need them.

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World at a turning point: Heads of UN and Red Cross issue joint warning

World at a turning point: Heads of UN and Red Cross issue joint warning

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, have issued an unprecedented joint warning about the impact of today's conflicts on civilians and appealed for urgent and concrete action to address human suffering and insecurity.

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Event: The Tension Between State and Non-State Expressions of Customary International Humanitarian Law

Event: The Tension Between State and Non-State Expressions of Customary International Humanitarian Law

On Saturday, November 7th the ICRC will be participating in a panel titled: The Department of Defense Law of War Manual: The Tension Between State and Non-State Expressions of Customary International Humanitarian Law, as part of International Law Weekend 2015. 

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Join us for an event at Georgetown Law Nov 4- Urban Warefare: Effects of Explosive Weapons on the Civilian Population

Join us for an event at Georgetown Law Nov 4- Urban Warefare: Effects of Explosive Weapons on the Civilian Population

We are pleased to announce a panel on Wednesday, November 4th from 5:30-7:00pm at Georgetown Law School titled "Urban Warfare: Effects of Explosive Weapons on the Civilian Population."  The panel is inspired by the ICRC's recent report on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. - 

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Call for papers for the 2016 Richard R. Baxter Military Writing Prize

Call for papers for the 2016 Richard R. Baxter Military Writing Prize

Since 2007, the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict, an interest group of the American Society of International Law, has annually recognized a paper that significantly enhances the understanding and implementation of the law of war has. The Richard R. Baxter Military Prize is awarded for exceptional writing in English by an active member of the regular or reserve armed forces, regardless of nationality.

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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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Top Picks: September 7 to 11

Top Picks: September 7 to 11

Domestic and international politics dominated the news and our reading this week – from the Congressional action on the Iran nuclear deal to President Obama’s announcement of the U.S. commitment to take in Syrian refugees. In addition, there was some valuable writing on the law of armed conflict and medical workers and a blog post by the Secretary of State, urging a better understanding of religion and global affairs.

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The 2nd Quarterly IHL Bibliography is out!

The 2nd Quarterly IHL Bibliography is out!

Last week ICRC's library in Geneva released the second of four yearly International Humanitarian Law (IHL) bibliographies, which list new acquisitions to the library. 

As part of its mission, the ICRC is charged with disseminating and developing IHL or the Law of Armed Conflict.  To contribute to this effort, the ICRC's library maintains an extensive collection of IHL documents to help internal and external researchers, students and legal professionals working in the field of IHL.  

 

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