Armed Conflict

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France Admits to Arming Libyan Rebels – Was this Lawful?

France has admitted supplying weapons to rebels in Libya fighting against Colonel's Gaddafi's forces. According to Channel 4 News in the UK: A senior French diplomatic source who wished to remain nameless told Channel 4 News that the weapon drop "was an operational decision taken at the time to help civilians who were in in imminent danger. A group of civilians were about to be massacred so we took the decision to provide self-defensive weapons to protect those civilian populations under threat." "It was entirely justifiable legally, resolution 1970 and 1973 were followed to the letter and it can be assured that there will be no diplomatic crisis despite what the African Union and Russia may say," the diplomat said. "France will not rule out more weapon drops in the future as we will take every decision on a case by case basis," he added. (see also France 24) It has also been reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has stated that "If this is confirmed, it…

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When to Kill and When to Capture?

My previous post on the Osama bin Laden killing and a number of posts at Opinio Juris have attracted a very productive discussion in the comments, which I would recommend to all readers who haven’t seen it already. The key issue that has emerged in this discussion is whether the legality of OBL’s killing depends on whether the US…

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Was the Killing of Osama bin Laden Lawful?

Yes. I wouldn’t say beyond any doubt, but for practical purposes very nearly so. As I’ve argued before, there are three bodies of law (potentially) relevant for assessing the legality of a targeted killing: the jus ad bellum, IHL, and human rights law. As for the jus ad bellum, it is unclear at this time whether the Pakistani…

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UN Panel of Experts Report on the Sri Lanka Conflict

The report of the Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General to investigate the circumstances of the conclusion the Sri Lanka war has been made public today – full report here, BBC News article here. The report was disclosed to the Sri Lankan government a few weeks ago; regrettably and quite…

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The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Requiem for Legality

Dr Miroslav Baros is Senior Lecturer in Law at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.  Introduction  ‘The Order further confirms that any proceeding instituted before any Court... which challenges [my] decisions sanctioning individuals ...enacted by  me,  will be inadmissible, unless... I expressly give my prior consent. The Decision of the…

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