Afghanistan

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The UK’s Use of Drones in Afghanistan and Its Definition of “Civilians”

Last week, Ben Emmerson QC, the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights announced that he was establishing a panel which will investigate allegations that drone strikes and other forms of remote targeted killing have caused disproportionate civilian casualties. The panel is charged with making recommendations regarding the obligation of States to conduct independent and impartial investigations into such allegations with a view to securing accountability and reparations. Most of the attention regarding the use of drones for targeted killing has, been focused on the United's States drone programme. This is understandable as the vast majority of drone operations for targeted killing have been carried out by the US. However, it is implicit in Ben Emmerson's statement that he also intends to examine the use of drones by other countries, and particularly by Israel and by the United Kingdom (see report by the Guardian).  This is because he mentions the use of drones in the "State of Palestine" and also refers to co-operation he has received from the government of the UK. It is not well known that the UK also uses drones or…

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Denmark Establishes a Commission of Inquiry into the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Jacques Hartmann is Assistant Professor, Department of Law, University of Southern Denmark and Fellow at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice, Italy. The Danish Government has decided to appoint a Commission of Inquiry on the Danish involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The terms of agreement for the Commission…

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The Taliban’s New “Code of Conduct”, Compliance with the Laws of War and POW status

After an absence of a couple of weeks and a summer silence on this blog, we are back.  I've got a bit of catching up to do. I want to spend the next couple of days discussing some legal issues arising from recent media reports about the war in Afghanistan. Later this week, I will write about US…

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Afghanistan accedes to Additional Protocols to Geneva Conventions: Will AP II govern the conflict in Afghanistan?

Last week (June 24) Afghanistan acceded to Additional Protocols I & II to the Geneva Conventions. These treaties continue to inch towards univeral participation as there are 169 States parties to AP I and 165 party to APII. The ratification by Afghanistan ruins, somewhat, the point I usually make in class when introducing the Geneva Conventions and…

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