International Humanitarian Law

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Common Article 1 Does Prohibit Complicity in IHL Violations, Through Arms Transfers or Otherwise

Last week, over on Articles of War, I read with great interest a post on Common Article 1 (CA1) of the Geneva Conventions by my good friends Mike Schmitt and Sean Watts. Their post, building on their prior work, argues that CA1 should not be understood as having any external dimension. It comments in that regard on the case brought by Nicaragua against Germany before the International Court of Justice, in which the Court is now deliberating on the request for provisional measures. Anything that Mike and Sean write is always going to be thoughtful and considered. But I must confess that I was somewhat perplexed after reading their post, on two counts. First, in their post Mike and Sean claim that their argument is strictly confined to matters of law and not policy. But they nonetheless express regret in the post that Germany did not expressly argue in favor of their own position that CA1 has no external dimension, which they regard…

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Alleged Violations of the Duty to Ensure Respect for IHL and the Monetary Gold Principle

1. Introduction This post explores the nature of the duty to ensure respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) embodied in Common Article 1 of the Four Geneva Conventions and in other IHL provisions. The duty imposes positive and negative obligations upon States in relation to other States’ conduct that violates or poses a serious risk of…

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What role artificial intelligence could play in evaluating the compliance of military operations with international humanitarian law: The case study of the conduct of hostilities in Ukraine

On the 23rd of January 2024, the Russian Federation launched a “massive” airstrike on the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, firing 41 missiles. The air defences shot down 21 of these missiles. These strikes exemplify a pattern. On the 1st of January 2024, the Russian Federation launched one of the biggest air…

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The African Union’s Statement on the Application of International Law to Cyberspace: An Assessment of the Principles of Territorial Sovereignty, Non-Intervention, and Non-Use of Force

A growing number of States have published statements examining the application of international law to cyberspace (for an overview see the Cyber Law Toolkit). On 29 January 2024, the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council adopted the ‘Common African Position on the Application of International Law to the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in…

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Appeals Judgment in Case concerning the Shipment from the Netherlands of Parts for F-35 Fighter Aircraft to Israel

Introduction On 12 February, the Appeals Court of the Hague in the Netherlands handed down its judgment in a case concerning the shipment of U.S. owned spare parts for F-35 fighter aircraft from a warehouse in the Netherlands to Israel (see here, only available in Dutch). The Court of Appeal held that the…

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