Armed Conflict

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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 government – parts of whose security apparatus undoubtedly harboured and protected OBL – consented to the use of force by the US on Pakistani soil. The Pakistani government has not yet publicly expressed its views on the matter; all things considered, however, it seems such consent was given. If it was not, then the US would have to argue self-defense in killing OBL, which is of course a complex question. At any rate, it is for Pakistan to raise a jus ad bellum issue, and it does not seem at all politically likely that they will now say, oh yes, we’ve been hiding OBL for years now, but the US had no right to violate our sovereignty. As…

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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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What Exactly Internationalizes an Internal Armed Conflict?

I’d like to turn our readers’ attention to the comment thread of Constantin’s post, which has raised a fascinating issue – when does an internal armed conflict become internationalized? I'd like to add a few thoughts of my own, first on some matters of definition. We first need to agree on what the ‘internationalization’ of an internal armed conflict…

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German Federal Prosecutor Terminates Investigation Against German Soldiers With Respect to NATO Air Strike in Afghanistan

Constantin von der Groeben is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cologne, Germany and a LL.M. candidate at NYU School of Law. His Ph.D. deals with the applicability of the Laws of Armed Conflict to the War on Terrorism. He is a fellow of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation). Last…

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