Friday, July 27, 2012

Call for Papers: International Humanitarian Assistance and International Law

Leiden Law School has issued a call for papers for a conference on "International Humanitarian Assistance and International Law," to take place January 24-25, 2013. Here's the call:

24 and 25 January 2013 | International Humanitarian Assistance and International Law

International humanitarian assistance, entailing the provision of emergency aid to those in need, may take place in situations of crisis. Such situations include natural or manmade disaster, armed conflict or occupation.


As a concept, international humanitarian assistance is receiving widespread attention from international organizations, NGOs, and other actors involved in the practice of aid delivery, yet it deserves more attention from scholars of public international law as there are many legal issues, ambiguities, and questions that arise time and again when humanitarian assistance is needed, or when it is being delivered.

These issues relate, inter alia, to the rights of the people in need of assistance, to the role of the affected states, to the specific circumstances in which humanitarian assistance is provided, to the duties of entities providing assistance as well as to the access of goods or relief personnel. Extensive research is still required to address these problems, in the hopes of making the provision of humanitarian assistance more effective.

The conference aims at bringing legal scholars who have been pioneering the field of international humanitarian assistance together with scholars of public international law who have not been working in this field but are nonetheless interested. Keeping this in mind, the conference will consist of multiple thematic panels, i.e. on ‘Humanitarian assistance and humanitarian law’; ‘Humanitarian assistance and international disaster response laws’, ‘Humanitarian assistance and human rights law’; and ‘Humanitarian assistance and other fields of law’, allowing for both scholars in the field and scholars from outside the direct field of international humanitarian assistance to participate. Furthermore, the contributions and findings of the conference will be published in a thematic edition of a legal journal.

Speakers include:

Em. Prof. Yoram Dinstein (Tel Aviv University)

Prof. dr. Horst Fischer (Leiden University)

Prof. dr. Hans-Joachim Heintze (Ruhr Universität Bochum)

Dr. iur. Heike Spieker (German Red Cross / Ruhr Universität Bochum)

Dr. Eduardo Valencia Ospina (Special Rapporteur International Law Commission)

Emilie E. Kuijt LL.M. (Leiden University)

Stefanie Jansen, LL.M. (De Volder & Jansen International Law Consultancy/ Tilburg University)

Call for Papers

Scholars (junior as well as senior) and practitioners working in the field of humanitarian assistance or in related fields who would like to participate in this conference as speaker or as a commentator in one of the panels are kindly invited to send an abstract of maximum 300 words (in English) to before 1 October 2012. In particular, papers relating to humanitarian assistance and the following topics are welcomed:

  • economic, social and cultural rights and/or human rights in general;
  • international humanitarian law;
  • access in time of (non-) international armed conflict;
  • access in time of natural disaster;
  • the use and/or implementation of international disaster response laws;
  • enforcement of the provision of assistance;
  • state sovereignty;
  • IDPs and/or refugee law;

or any other legal topic related to international humanitarian assistance.