The Oxford Guidance on the Law Relating to Humanitarian Relief Operations in Situations of Armed Conflict: An Introduction

Cross-posted from EJIL: Talk!  As many current conflicts across the globe demonstrate, humanitarian access is a central challenge to the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Parties to conflict often impede the delivery of much needed humanitarian relief supplies exacerbating hunger, disease and want. However, insufficient attention appears to have been paid to the legal […]

South African Withdrawal from the International Criminal Court – Does the ICC Statute Lead to Violations of Other International Obligations?

Cross posted from EJIL:Talk! The relations between the International Criminal Court (ICC) and African States have come to a head once again this week with situation now at its lowest point. The government of South Africa has announced (see here) that it is withdrawing from the Statute of the ICC and that it has submitted its instrument […]

When Does the Use of Force Against a Non-State Armed Group trigger an International Armed Conflict and Why does this Matter?

Cross-posted from EJIL:Talk!   Over at Just Security (see for example here, here and here) and also at Opinio Juris (see hereand here) there has been a very interesting discussion on whether aspects of the conflict in Syria should be regarded as international armed conflicts (IACs) rather than simply non-international armed conflicts (NIACs). These discussions have followed on from the release of […]

Civilian Protection: Some Thoughts on the Historical Origins of the Norm

When we think about the historical origins of civilian protection, we tend to do so in a particular way. We associate the emergence of the norm with the development of the principles of discrimination and, to a lesser degree, proportionality in the Geneva Conventions. We then link the idea of protecting vulnerable individuals and groups […]

An International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the ICC Head of State Immunity Issue

Cross-posted from EJIL:Talk!   Earlier this week, I wrote about the recent decision of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal holding that the South African government had violated its obligations in failing to arrest Sudanese President Bashir when he attended the African Union Summit in South Africa last June. That decision is just the […]

The Bashir Case: Has the South African Supreme Court Abolished Immunity for all Heads of States?

Cross-posted from EJIL:Talk!   Earlier this month, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal decided unanimously (see the judgment here) that the South African government had breached its obligations under the South African domestic statute implementing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and under the Rome Statute, by failing to arrest and detain for surrender […]

The Responsibility to Protect at 10: Glass Half Empty, or Half Full?

A version of this post will appear in the no. 2 (June) 2016 issue of The International Spectator, a special issue which focuses on R2P.   When heads of state and government articulated the principle of the responsibility to protect (RtoP) at the World Summit of 2005, they were signaling an intention to move away from […]

International Criminal Justice on the March?

Cross-posted from EJIL:Talk!   March been a significant one for international criminal justice with a series of high profile judgments by the ICC and the ICTY. There has been the conviction of the former Vice President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, on the basis of superior responsibility, for war crimes and […]

UK Parliamentary Inquiry into UK Policy on the Use of Drones for Targeted Killing

Cross-posted from EJIL:Talk!   In August this year, the United Kingdom carried out a drone strike in Syria for the purpose of targeting a member of ISIS (see previous discussion here and here). At the end of October, the Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK’s Parliament launched an inquiry into the UK government’s policy on the […]

The Constructive Ambiguity of the Security Council’s ISIS Resolution

Cross-posted from EJIL:Talk!   On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2249 (2015), condemning a series of recent terrorist attacks by Islamic State (IS, ISIS or ISIL). The text of the resolution, together with statements of Council members, is available here. This resolution was proposed by France and superseded two competing earlier drafts by Russia. […]