International Humanitarian Law

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Collective Security Treaty Organization: Why are Russian Troops in Kazakhstan?

Background One matchstick is enough to burn the house down, especially when gas is involved. Shortly after New Year’s Eve, protests began in Kazakhstan, the biggest and economically strongest state in the Central Asian region, over rising gas prices. The protests have transformed from mere price reduction demands into anti-government riots. A decade ago, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan’s neighbor, experienced a similar scenario when thousands went on the streets to protest against a rise in utility rates, including cellphone services. In the aftermath of these protests, Kyrgyzstan ended up with a new government and constitution. How the situation will resolve in Kazakhstan is yet to be seen. In 2019, there was a change in presidential leadership when Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took over from Nursultan Nazarbayev the longstanding leader of post-Soviet Kazakhstan. However, grievances against Nazarbayev’s three-decade rule and his continuing de facto authority have fed into the protesters’ anger. Protestors are demanding, not only lower fuel prices, but also an end to widespread governmental corruption and general political liberalization. On January 5th,…

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Unilateral Economic Sanctions to Deter and Punish Cyber-Attacks: Are They Here to Stay?

In June 2021 during the Biden-Putin summit, President Biden stated that critical infrastructure should be “off-limits” to cyber-attacks and handed over a list of 16 areas of critical infrastructure that under no circumstance should be targeted by cyber-attacks. This took place after the SolarWinds cyber-attack that was described by SolarWinds Vice-President as “your worst nightmare”.

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From Multilateralism to Minilateralism in International Humanitarian Law Compliance

This is the final post in the joint EJIL:Talk and Articles of War blog series from the Oxford Forum for International Humanitarian Law Compliance. Geneva law (the Four Geneva Conventions 1949 and their Additional Protocols 1977 and 2005) has few compliance mechanisms. As I argued in my introduction to this blog series,…

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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…

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The Training and Socialization of Combatants to IHL Norms: A Brief Review

Can state and nonstate armed forces and humanitarian organizations socialize combatants to “norms of restraint”—in essence, train soldiers to adopt norms of international humanitarian law (IHL) on the battlefield? And, importantly, how can the effectiveness of this socialization be evaluated? The importance of effective training for generating compliance with IHL has long been recognized by IHL…

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