When should International Humanitarian Law (IHL) prevail over, when give way to International Human Rights Law (IHRL)? IHL and IHRL give diverging answers to the crucial question of when it is permissible to kill during an armed confrontation. This paper contends that when two bodies of law make diverging substantive demands – as IHRL and IHL do – that which better discharges the law’s moral tasks should displace the other. The law’s two moral tasks, the paper argues, are to guide its subjects’ conduct, as often as possible, towards the course of action that conforms to their moral obligations (task one) and to secure the fullest feasible protection of rights in the outcome of conduct (task two).
IHL permits conduct that further diverges from our fundamental moral obligations of non-interference with the individual right to life. Yet, the law that more faithfully reflects underlying moral principles is not always the law that better discharges its moral tasks. Epistemic barriers to identifying the morally right course of action account for why a law that further diverges from moral principles might better guide the individual towards what is typically the morally right course of action (task one). Volitional defects may mean that a law that asks for a course of action other than the morally right one, generates better aggregate moral consequences (task two). Whether IHRL or IHL should prevail, depends on the epistemic and volitional context of decision-making during the conduct of hostilities.
The paper raises the question of whether IHL or IHRL should govern the conduct of hostilities for six types of non-international and international armed conflicts (NIACs and IACs). One of two characteristics distinguishes them from confrontations that do not count as armed conflicts: either the intensity of hostilities or a state’s (non-authorised) use of armed force outside its own territory. The paper analyses how the intensity and territorial scope of hostilities affect the epistemic and volitional context of decision-making on the battlefield and thereby IHRL’s and IHL’s respective ability to discharge the law’s two moral tasks.
This analysis leads to the following proposal for a moral division of labour between IHRL and IHL: As the morally prima facie better law IHRL should govern the conduct of hostilities in law enforcement operations. In non-protracted IACs, ‘symmetrical IHRL’ – applied as if both parties had a lawful aim - should govern the permissibility of killing. Above the threshold of intensity at which hostilities count as protracted, hence during NIACs and protracted IACs, we face a choice between affording individuals a guide towards what is typically the course of action that conforms to their moral obligations (task one) and reducing individual rights violations in the outcome of warfare (task two). ‘Symmetrical IHRL’ better discharges task one; IHL better discharges task two. It depends on the relative moral costs of prioritizing one task over the other, which body of law should prevail. I argue that IHL currently offers a better, but far from morally ideal law for governing the permissibility of killing during the conduct of hostilities, once these hostilities reach the crucial threshold of being protracted. From a moral point of view, IHL should therefore displace IHRL and govern, on its own, the conduct of hostilities during NIACs and protracted IACs.
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Call for Submissions: Justice and Accountability for Sexual Violence in Conflict: Progress and Challenges in National Efforts to Address Impunity
Woolaver: From Joining to Leaving: Domestic Law’s Role in the International Legal Validity of Treaty Withdrawal
If a state withdraws from a treaty in a manner that violates its own domestic law, will this withdrawal take effect in international law? The decisions to join and withdraw from treaties are both aspects of the state’s treaty-making capacity. Logically, international law must therefore consider the relationship between domestic and international rules on states’ treaty consent both in relation to treaty entry and exit. However, while international law provides a role for domestic legal requirements in the international validity of a state’s consent when joining a treaty, it is silent on this question in relation to treaty withdrawal. Further, there has been little scholarly or judicial consideration of this question. This contribution addresses this gap. Given recent controversies concerning treaty withdrawal – including the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, South Africa’s possible withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, and the threatened US denunciation of the Paris Agreement – and the principles underlying this body of law, it is proposed that the law of treaties should be interpreted so as to develop international legal recognition for domestic rules on treaty withdrawal equivalent to that when states join treaties, such that a manifest violation of domestic law may invalidate a state’s treaty withdrawal in international law.
Monday, March 18, 2019
Sander: Democracy Under The Influence: Paradigms of State Responsibility for Cyber Influence Operations on Elections
Ever since allegations arose of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election, cyber influence operations have garnered worldwide attention. This article examines the different options available under international law for holding States responsible for cyber influence operations on elections. To this end, the article first elaborates a typology of different cyber election meddling techniques, before examining three paradigms of international law that may be relied upon to frame State responses to cyber influence operations – the general public international law paradigm, the human rights paradigm, and the State liability paradigm. The article concludes by considering why States have so far avoided the vocabulary of international law in formulating their responses to cyber influence operations and offers a suggestion as to where international law may have a more central role to play in this context in the future.
Thursday, March 14, 2019
2020 jährt sich die Annahme der UNSCR 1325 zur Rolle von Frauen in Konflikten zum 20. Mal. Zum Jubiläumsjahr ist Österreich international aufgefordert, sowohl eine erfolgreiche Implementierung des Nationalen Aktionsplans vorzuweisen als auch kritisch zu prüfen, wie eine Refokussierung auf neue Schwerpunkte der "Women, Peace and Security" (WPS) Agenda aussehen kann. Die Studie zeigt aktuelle Frauen-relevante Trends in Friedensabkommen und Voraussetzungen für erfolgreiche weibliche Friedensvermittlung auf. Daraus werden konkrete Empfehlungen auf nationaler und internationaler Ebene abgeleitet. Das Projekt verfolgt mit Blick auf BMEIA und BMLV eine gesamtstaatliche Perspektive.
Marxsen: Bündnissolidarität und Auslandseinsätze der Bundeswehr – Verfassungs- und völkerrechtliche Grundlagen
Dieser Aufsatz analysiert die rechtlichen Voraussetzungen für Auslandseinsätze der Bundeswehr. In einem ersten Schritt werden dabei die völkerrechtlichen Anforderungen rekapituliert. Alsdann werden die Voraussetzungen des Grundgesetzes in den Blick genommen, wobei insbesondere die Regeln über die Beteiligung an Bündniseinsätzen eingehend analysiert werden. Die These des Aufsatzes ist, dass wir international gegenwärtig einen problematischen Trend erleben, demzufolge Militäreinsätze weniger in vom U.N. Sicherheitsrat autorisierten Missionen, sondern zunehmend in nur partikularen Bündnissen erfolgen. Diese Entwicklung kann für die Bundesrepublik zu Konflikten mit den völkerrechtlichen, aber auch verfassungsrechtlichen Anforderungen für Auslandseinsätze der Bundeswehr führen.
The article analyses the legal requirements for the deployment of German military troops abroad. First, it provides an overview on the relevant international legal rules, especially of the prohibition on the use of force and its exceptions that Germany is obliged to observe. It then discusses the legal framework and practice under the German Grundgesetz under which military operations in alliance with other countries are the standard case. The article then argues that we are currently witnessing a problematic turn from military operations conducted based on an authorization of the U.N. Security Council to such operations carried out in smaller, partial alliances outside the universalist framework of the U.N. It is shown that this trend can conflict with German obligations under international as well as German constitutional law.
Scoville & Berlin: Who Studies International Law? Explaining Cross-National Variation in Compulsory International Legal Education
The compulsory study of international law is a universal component of legal education in some states, but extremely uncommon or nonexistent in others. This article uses global data and statistical methods to test a number of conceivable explanations for this puzzling feature of international society. In contrast to much of the empirical literature on state behavior in relation to international law, we find that functionalist and sociopolitical variables carry little explanatory power, and that historical variables — specifically, legal tradition and regional geography — instead account for the overwhelming majority of the global pattern. We explore potential explanations for these findings and discuss implications for scholars, legal educators, and policymakers.
- Viola Prifti, The limits of “ordre public” and “morality” for the patentability of human embryonic stem cell inventions
- Gouri Gargate, Qutbuddin Siddiquee, & Chaitanya Wingkar, Intellectual property audit of an organization
- Titilayo Adebola, Examining plant variety protection in Nigeria: Realities, obligations and prospects
- Sunimal Mendis, Public open collaborative creation (POCC): A new archetype of authorship? ections
The worldwide populist wave has contributed to a perception that international law is currently in a state of crisis. This article examines in how far populist governments have challenged prevailing interpretations of international law. The article links structural features of populism with an analysis of populist governmental strategies and argumentative practices. It demonstrates that, in their rhetoric, populist governments promote an understanding of international law as a mere law of coordination. This is, however, not entirely reflected in their legal practices where an instrumental, cherry-picking approach prevails. The article concludes that policies of populist governments affect the current state of international law on two different levels: In the political sphere their practices alter the general environment in which legal rules are interpreted. In the legal sphere populist governments push for changes in the interpretation of established international legal rules. The article substantiates these propositions by focusing on the principle of non-intervention and foreign funding for NGOs.
Tzanakopoulos: La Russie et le Conseil de sécurité : les trois époques de la pratique (Russia and the Security Council: Three Epochs of Practice)
Cette contribution concerne la pratique de la Russie dans sa qualité comme membre permanente du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies. Elle tracerait la participation soviétique/russe au Conseil de sécurité en discernant approximativement trois époques de cette participation : l’époque soviétique du « deadlock », de l’impasse, pendant la guerre froide ; l’époque de retrait russe, de consensus entre les membres permanents et, par conséquence, de l’hégémonie américaine ; et l’époque actuelle paradoxale de réengagement, quand la Russie utilise les arguments occidentaux contre l’Occident.
This paper discusses the three different epochs of Soviet/Russian practice in the Security Council. After recounting the 'switch' from the Soviet Union to the Russian Federation as a permanent member of the Security Council, the paper traces the three epochs it identifies: from the Soviet era of the deadlock during the Cold War, to the era of Russian retreat during the New World Order and US hegemony, to the current paradoxical era of Russian re-engagement, where Russia invokes Western arguments against the West.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
van Dijk: “The Great Humanitarian”: The Soviet Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Geneva Conventions of 1949
The Geneva Conventions of 1949 are often seen by both scholars and practitioners as the product of liberal humanitarianism in general and particularly of the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) attempts to protect victims of war more strongly. They are primarily viewed as a major response to the experiences of World War II, in order to prevent the repetition of its most horrific atrocities, against especially civilians. Unlike the Nuremberg Trials, or the human rights revolutions of the 1940s, the Conventions are not usually regarded as an “Anglo-American tale of triumph.” Traditionally, they are viewed as a similar sort of product made possible by a cohort of predominantly Western European drafters, thereby limiting the important Soviet role to a relatively minor although uncomfortable episode in a larger story of humanist triumphalism. This classic account mostly fails to address, let alone acknowledge, the significant contributions of illiberal states, such as the Soviet Union and the socialist states of the Eastern Bloc, in developing humanitarian law. This liberal humanitarian narrative was more or less unchallenged by the Soviets and the ICRC in the years after 1949. Both felt little need during this period of continuing tensions to remind others about their brief but important strategic cooperation in 1949 to strengthen the Geneva Conventions.
The history of the Conventions was, first and foremost, written by many of the former Western protagonists, particularly the ICRC, largely adopting and reifying their views. Since then, many influential scholars analyzing the historical evolution of the laws of war have, regardless of different turns in legal-historical historiographies, accepted these claims largely at face value. For example, the American political scientist David Forsythe, who wrote an authoritative and pioneering study of the ICRC's history, argued that “the Soviets never cooperated with the ICRC in meaningful ways on humanitarian protection during the Cold War proper.” Surprisingly, the recent opening up of Soviet archives has failed to yield a growing interest among Soviet experts in this specific matter. As a consequence of this, a liberal-historical amnesia has occurred, minimizing the remarkable role played by the Soviets before, and at Geneva, in revising humanitarian law.
Paradoxically echoing the Western orthodoxy on this matter, Francine Hirsch, an expert on Soviet international legal contributions after World War II, has also suggested that following Nuremberg, the Soviets “concluded that international legal institutions were of limited use to them, and refocused their efforts on shaping the postwar order through other means.” Others who have looked more in depth at the matter have stressed the importance of the Soviet Union's wartime declarations rather than its postwar legal contributions, or have looked at only certain dimensions of the Soviet contributions, instead of using a more multilayered historical approach as this article seeks to do.
This article, based on a collection of different Western and Soviet archival materials, certainly does not try to provide a comprehensive, let alone definitive, Soviet-focused account. Instead, it unpacks some of the existing misconceptions within the existing historiography regarding the Soviet impact on the ICRC's efforts to promote the law's revision, especially after World War II. Whereas most of the literature claims that Soviet contributions were either minimal or highly biased, this article reveals the Soviet delegation's mixed but critical legacy in developing the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, including Common Article 3, in particular.
In general, the Soviet position was evolving in nature, less unitary, and far more sophisticated than what is commonly assumed. On the one hand, its delegation(s), acting in surprisingly close cooperation with the ICRC, was critical in introducing powerful proposals and in creating sufficient support for plans to end “inhumane” measures in war. On the other hand, the Soviet delegation tried and eventually succeeded in making some of these protections potentially vulnerable because of its enduring opposition to accepting stronger enforcement mechanisms, such as allowing Protecting Powers to visit its camps.
Focusing on the Western perceptions of the Soviet Union's actions and its contributions to the law's historical evolution, the article also unravels how the Western objective of obtaining Soviet participation was seen by many of the major drafting parties, particularly the French Foreign Ministry, as a critical precondition for making the law's revision process a success. In pursuit of this goal, the parties seriously and extensively discussed the options of replacing or even eliminating the ICRC as a drafting party, with the aim of eventually obtaining Soviet participation. In so doing, the article raises the possibility of alternative paths, and that of contingency, of a variety of routes that need to be reinserted into a larger story about the law's historical development. This element is either missing or downplayed in most existing accounts, as they tend to take the ICRC's continued participation largely for granted.
The argument is presented across two different sections focusing on Soviet–ICRC relations and the Soviet impact on the discussions leading to the acceptance of the Geneva Conventions in August 1949. The first section explores the interwar and wartime origins of the hostile relations between Switzerland and Moscow, which led to the latter's rejection of participating in the early phases of the postwar drafting debates. The following section focuses on the attempts made by mainly French diplomats to obtain Soviet participation through questioning the ICRC's leading drafting role. Filling certain gaps in the existing literature on the Soviet contributions to developing international law after World War II, the final section of this article addresses a few key elements regarding the Soviet impact on the last stage of these negotiations.
- Moshe Hirsch, The Role of International Tribunals in the Development of Historical Narratives
- Louis Sicking, The Pirate and the Admiral: Europeanisation and Globalisation of Maritime Conflict Management
- Marc de Wilde, Seeking Refuge: Grotius on Exile, Expulsion and Asylum
- Raphael Schäfer, The 150th Anniversary of the St Petersburg Declaration: Introductory Reflections on a Janus-Faced Document
- Robert Kolb & Momchil Milanov, The 1868 St Petersburg Declaration on Explosive Projectiles: A Reappraisal
- Emily Crawford, The Enduring Legacy of the St Petersburg Declaration: Distinction, Military Necessity, and the Prohibition of Causing Unnecessary Suffering and Superfluous Injury in IHL
Ferrero: L’interprétation évolutive des conventions internationales de protection des droits de l’homme
Les conventions internationales de protection des droits de l’Homme ont été élaborées au début de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. Or, le champ matériel de ces traités est étroitement connecté aux réalités humaines, elles-mêmes en constante évolution. Les développements technologiques, sociaux, économiques ou scientifiques peuvent en conséquence avoir des implications directes sur l’exercice des droits et libertés fondamentaux. L’interprétation évolutive de ces instruments, consistant à les envisager « à la lumière des conditions actuelles », est alors devenue courante dans la pratique des juridictions spécialisées, bien qu’elle soit parfois envisagée avec méfiance. Absente des règles d’interprétation du droit international formulées dans la Convention de Vienne sur le droit des traités, cette modalité interprétative intrigue dans la mesure où elle conduit le juge à s’écarter parfois explicitement du texte de l’accord et donc de la volonté des parties. Pour autant, face à l’enjeu que représente le maintien de l’effectivité du droit dans le temps, force est de constater que l’application de ces conventions impose leur actualisation. L’interprétation évolutive invite par conséquent à une réévaluation de la fonction interprétative du juge international, entre son encadrement théorique traditionnellement strict et les exigences empiriques du droit international contemporain.
À partir de cette méthode particulière, cette thèse vise à démontrer que le juge international de protection des droits de l’Homme bénéficie d’une ample marge de manœuvre dans le processus interprétatif qui, sans impliquer une quelconque exclusivité de la méthode aux droits de l’Homme, tient essentiellement aux conditions dans lesquelles il exerce son office. Cette latitude est en réalité indispensable et lui permet de contribuer à une adaptation quotidienne du droit international devenue vitale. La mise au jour de la véritable nature de ses fonctions atteste de la part de créativité inhérente à l’activité interprétative et participe à la remise en question de la fiction classique de l’application mécanique du droit au fait, strictement encadrée par les limites du consensualisme. Plus encore, les implications de l’interprétation évolutive conduisent à lever le voile qui masquait jusqu’alors les fondements et la légitimité du pouvoir du juge et permettent d’en proposer des perspectives d’amélioration.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
- Mikael Wigell, Hybrid interference as a wedge strategy: a theory of external interference in liberal democracy
- Trevor McCrisken & Maxwell Downman, ‘Peace through strength’: Europe and NATO deterrence beyond the US Nuclear Posture Review
- Simon Cottee, The calypso caliphate: how Trinidad became a recruiting ground for ISIS
- Erika Weinthal & Jeannie Sowers, Targeting infrastructure and livelihoods in the West Bank and Gaza
- Hassan Ahmadian & Payam Mohseni, Iran's Syria strategy: the evolution of deterrence
- Roland Vogt, Reputations and the fight against tax evasion: EU pressure and Asian financial centres
- Richard G. Whitman, The UK's European diplomatic strategy for Brexit and beyond
- Denis M. Tull, Rebuilding Mali's army: the dissonant relationship between Mali and its international partners
- Andoni Maiza-Larrarte & Gloria Claudio-Quiroga, The impact of Sicomines on development in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- Andreas E. Feldmann, Federico Merke, & Oliver Stuenkel, Argentina, Brazil and Chile and democracy defence in Latin America: principled calculation
Call for Papers: International law’s invisible frames – social cognition and knowledge production in international legal processes
Crimes against humanity is one of the core crimes in international criminal law, whose existence is treated as a natural reaction to mass atrocities. This idea of linear progress is challenged by this article, which demonstrates that in Post-Second World War Hungary an alternative approach was developed to prosecute human rights violation committed against civilian populations. Even though this concept was eventually used as a political weapon by the communist party, it had long-lasting effects on the prosecution of international crimes in Hungary.
In this contribution to a symposium on "International Trade: Isolationism, Trade Wars, and Trump," I argue that the present challenge to the economic order is both broader and more intractable than the symposium title suggests. Many observers are rightly concerned about the Trump administration's broad invocations of national security, and about rising economic and strategic tensions with China. Without diminishing either of these challenges, I argue that Trump’s actions on trade reflect the increasing entanglement between national security policy and “ordinary” economic regulation—an entanglement that both predates and will outlast his administration, and extends farther than just the United States. This entanglement stems from a dramatic series of shifts in national security policy since the 1990s, such that security measures overlap with trade and investment rules in an ever-widening range of circumstances. Moreover, not all of these new security policies bear the hallmarks of abuse and overreach that characterize the Trump administration. It is unclear whether our international economic institutions have the legal tools, the capacity, or the legitimacy to address this growing body of novel—but not necessarily abusive—national security aims. This short piece introduces these critical claims and potential responses, both of which are developed further in forthcoming work.
Un nord-coréen accusé d’avoir piraté le studio Sony ou orchestré l’attaque Wannacry pour le compte du régime, des interventions via les réseaux sociaux dans les campagnes électorales américaine, lettone ou française, un programme malveillant paralysant la cérémonie d’ouverture des derniers Jeux Olympiques, une tentative de perturbation de missions d’avion de chasse, une attaque de sociétés gérant le fonctionnement de centrales nucléaires américaines… la liste pourrait être longue pour recenser les cyberattaques entreprises seulement depuis 2017.
Pourtant, la réponse à apporter n’est toujours pas évidente : qui peut agir ? contre qui ? à quelles conditions et dans quel but ? Autant de questions qui se posent et auxquelles il faut apporter une réponse à la suite de l’identification de tels actes. S’il a été reconnu que le droit international existant doit s’appliquer en cas de cyberattaques, il reste encore à en identifier les modalités.
C’est à cet ambitieux objectif que la Journée d’études organisée à l’université de Rouen le 2 juin 2017 entendait contribuer en confrontant les besoins des praticiens aux réflexions d’universitaires. Le présent ouvrage rassemble les contributions des intervenants qui ont accepté de proposer des analyses, souvent prospectives, des questions posées quant à la définition des cyberattaques, l’identification de leurs auteurs et des réactions envisageables.