In an age where armed conflicts are characterized by complexity and asymmetry, how can military commanders ensure their operations remain within the confines of international humanitarian law (IHL)? Join us on 4 October 2016 for a livestreamed panel discussion at the Humanitarium in Geneva to discuss how IHL can be translated into coherent operational guidance and rules of engagement that are both legally accurate and relevant for today’s armed conflicts. The event will be part of the ICRC Conference Cycle on “Generating respect for the law”.
Join the debate! Submit your questions to the panelists by leaving a comment here. We will endeavour to adress them during the event to the extent possible.
We live in an era in which armed conflicts have become greater in complexity and numbers of actors, longer in duration, wider in their regional impact, broader in tactics and weapons used and, above all, more atrocious in the human suffering they cause.
From a legal perspective, this conflict pattern poses a wealth of challenges as those involved in the fighting often deliberately disrespect key principles of IHL and employ unlawful means and methods of warfare. Also, the dividing line between the conduct of hostilities and law enforcement frameworks is often not clear cut, and how to define membership in an organized armed group for the purpose of lethal targeting remains a hotly debated legal issue with profound implications.
Against this background, where do we stand with regard to translating IHL into coherent operational guidance and rules of engagement that take the specificities of modern armed conflicts into consideration? What role do investigations into potential violations of the rules on the conduct of hostilities play, and how could accountability be enhanced?
- Jamie Williamson, Head of Unit, Relations with Arms Carriers, ICRC
- Richard Jackson, former Special Assistant to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General for the Law of War Matters and Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University
- Andrew Carswell, Delegate to the Armed Forces, ICRC
- Lone Kjelgaard, Senior Assistant Legal Adviser at the NATO Office of Legal Affairs (tbc)
- Charles Garraway, Colonel, Member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission
The event will be followed by a cocktail reception. To attend the event in person or watch the livestream, please register above.