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International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Expert Lecture Series

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Location

TBC

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street

London

SW1A 2AH

United Kingdom

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Description

FCO Legal Directorate is hosting an International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Expert Lecture Series throughout 2018.

What: The lecture series will cover six cutting-edge IHL subjects, namely, the distinction between jus ad bellum and jus in bello, classification of conflicts, interplay between IHL and International Human Rights Law, status of persons in conflict, targeting war sustaining activities and cyber warfare. Each of the six lectures will provide both an academic perspective and a HMG practitioner perspective. Academic speakers will include Dapo Akande (Oxford), Noam Lubell (Essex), Ian Park (Harvard), Janina Dill (LSE) and Marco Roscini (Westminster). HMG speakers will include lawyers from FCO, MOD, the Royal Navy and GCHQ.

Why: The course has been designed as a mini-LLM in IHL for HMG lawyers, with the aim of deepening the legal knowledge of HMG lawyers to help us interpret and apply the law of armed conflict in contemporary situations.

Who: This series is for government officials only. The intended audience is HMG lawyers with an interest in IHL (particularly FCO, MOD, AGO and DFID lawyers). Policy officials that work on IHL-related issues can also attend if they would like to deepen their legal awareness of the subject. All attendees are expected to have a basic understanding of IHL already.

How: Each of the six lectures will take place for 1.5 hours over lunch-time. Attendees will be provided with a short document setting out the key learning points from each session. The idea is that the lecture series is a programme of training, and therefore attendees are expected to sign up to the series as a whole. Attendees are encouraged to incorporate the lecture series into their objectives for 2017-2018, as they will be awarded a certificate of completion at the end. Please see below for the full programme.

Questions: Please feel free to ask Jessica Walsh (Jessica.Walsh@fco.gov.uk) any questions.


Full Programme:

1. 12:30-14:00 on 25 January 2018: The Distinction Between Jus Ad Bellum and Jus In Bello and Why it Matters

In this session, participants will explore the distinction between jus ad bellum, which refers to the conditions under which states may resort to the use of armed force, and jus in bello, which is the body of law that applies during an armed conflict. We will discuss whether these bodies of law are truly independent, and why it matters.

Speakers: Noam Lubell (University of Essex), Andy Murdoch (FCO), Sherin Shefik (FCO), Naomi Davey (FCO)


2. 12:30-14:00 on 28 March 2018: Drawing Lines in the Sand: The Classification of Conflict (please note, the location of this lecture is to be confirmed)

In this session, participants will learn how to classify situations of armed conflict. We will explore, using practical real-life examples, when a situation becomes an armed conflict, and what the difference is between an international armed conflict and a non-international armed conflict.

Speakers: Dapo Akande (Oxford University), Helen Mcdermott (FCO)


3. 12:30-14:00 on 30 May 2018: The Interplay between International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law (previously advertised as 29 May - please note the change of date)

In this session, participants will learn about how these two distinct, but often complimentary, bodies of law operate together (or not) during situations of armed conflict. We will discuss the extent to which IHL standards displace human rights standards, or the extent to which human rights standards can be interpreted to conform to IHL standards in times of conflict. We will specifically explore detention in non-international armed conflicts, the Hassan case in the ECtHR, cases in the UK courts (in particular, Al Waleed/Serdar Mohammed), and U.S. Guantanamo Bay litigation.

Speaker: Ian Park (Harvard Law School and Royal Navy)


4. 12:30-14:00 on 24 July 2018: Who is Who: Status of Persons and Direct Participation in Hostilities

In this session, participants will learn the difference between a ‘combatant’ and a ‘civilian’, and who can be legitimately targeted in an armed conflict. This will include a review of the differing positions of major states and the ICRC on when a civilian is deemed to be ‘directly participating in hostilities’. We will examine how to determine membership in an armed group while the individual in question does not commit hostile acts, and how membership in an armed group is to be distinguished from affiliation with a party to the conflict. We will also briefly explore the US position re the third category of ‘unprivileged belligerents’.

Speakers: Janina Dill (LSE) and Clive Dow (FCO)


5. 12:30-14:00 on 26 September 2018: Moving Targets: War Sustaining Objects and Activities

In this session, participants will learn how the term ‘military objectives’ is defined, and the practice of states in interpreting and implementing this definition in contemporary warfare. The following questions will guide the discussion: what constitutes an ‘effective contribution to military action’; is it sufficient that the contribution is ‘indirect’ or ‘discreet’; is the nexus between the economic activity and the financing of the military effort close enough to consider that economic targets made an effective contribution to military action; how have these interpretations played out in relation to the targeting of banking facilities, cash, bankers, and oil related facilities in Syria?

Speaker: John Swords (MOD)


6. 12:30-14:00 on 22 November 2018: Jus in Cyber Bello: The Application of Proportionality in Cyber Warfare

In this session, participants will learn about the application of jus in bello proportionality in the cyber context. Legal scholarship appears to have settled on a definition of ‘force’ that applies the existing law of armed conflict to cyber actions when these result in conventional ‘kinetic’ harm. Participants will be invited (by means of hypothetical scenarios) to explore whether this approach adequately addresses the unique concerns raised by cyber operations. For example, a kinetic attack that destroys a civilian hospital might clearly violate jus in bello proportionality, so why should a cyber-attack that renders a civilian hospital inoperable be different?

Speakers: Marco Roscini (University Westminster), Philip (GCHQ) and Michelle Valchero (FCO)


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Location

TBC

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street

London

SW1A 2AH

United Kingdom

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