General Principles of International Law

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Closing the Gaps: Pre-Deployment Role of the Military Legal Adviser

As US involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan comes to an end after twenty years, it is worth taking stock of how things stand in relation to the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). This law serves dual purposes: military necessity (which permits measures which are necessary to fulfil a legitimate military purpose provided they are not otherwise prohibited by LOAC) and the principle of humanity (which limits the effects of armed conflict on civilian populations and others who are hors de combat). Much could (and likely will) be written about the legal advice provided during combat operations over these past decades. Our focus here is the delivery of LOAC education and training to forces on a routine basis and for specific missions.  As Laurie Blank and Gregory Noone express in their excellent United States Institute of Peace manual on law of war training, the Geneva Conventions require that states train their forces on the law of armed conflict. Blank and Noone aptly point out that there is a LOAC “knowledge…

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Living in the Shadow of Flawed Peace: How General International Law Is Implicated in the Trade War between Japan and South Korea

As the anniversary of V-J Day approaches, the legacy of World War II still casts a long shadow on its previous Pacific theatre.  Last month, an unprecedented quadripartite incident involving warplanes from, inter alia, Japan and South Korea played out in the territorial airspace of the contested Dokdo/Takeshima islands, disputed territory that was left unresolved in the…

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More on Public International Law and Infectious Diseases: Foundations of the Obligation to Report Epidemic Outbreaks

In his recent post on the 2018-2019 Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Villarreal inter alia mentions the connection between the International Health Regulations (IHR) and international human rights law, arguing that states' obligations under the IHR are to be read in conjunction with those under the International Covenant on Economic,…

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Silence and the Use of Force in International Law

States frequently take actions and make statements that implicate international law. But because they do not — and, indeed, could not — express a view on each such act or statement by all other states at all times, silence seems to be the norm, rather than the exception, in international relations. When states and other international…

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Joint Blog Series on International Law and Armed Conflict: Jann Kleffner on ‘Wounded and Sick and the Proportionality Assessment’

The final installment of our joint blog series arising from the 2017 Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, ‘Wounded and Sick and the Proportionality Assessment’- by Jann Kleffner (Swedish Defence University) is now available on Intercross.  Here’s a taster of Jann’s post: For all wounded and…

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