Direct Participation in Hostilities

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Lost Between Law Enforcement and Active Hostilities: A First Glance at the Israeli Supreme Court Judgment on the Use of Lethal Force During the Gaza Border Demonstrations

In response to the ongoing violent clashes between the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and Palestinian protesters during the so-called ‘March of Return’ along the Gaza border fence several Israeli human rights organizations petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court, challenging the IDF’s rules of engagement, as well as their implementation. The arguments put forward by the petitioners and the Israeli Government, as well as the legal issues involved were  discussed in advance of the Court’s judgment by Eliav Lieblich and Yuval Shany (here and here). Last week, the Israeli Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, handed down its decision, which unanimously rejected the petitions. Although the judgment seems to be flawed on several issues, it nevertheless includes a couple of interesting statements regarding the relationship between law enforcement operations and active hostilities in armed conflict. An initial analysis of the decision has been published by Amichai Cohen and I should say at the outset that I share some of his conclusions. Those aspects of the decision that relate to international law…

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Active Hostilities and International Law Limits to Trump’s Executive Order on Guantanamo

In his State of the Union speech on January 30, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his signing of a new executive order aimed at keeping open the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as approving its repopulation. This post considers how the law of war governing detention in armed conflicts constricts the ability…

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Joint Blog Series on International Law and Armed Conflict: Ashley Deeks on Common Article 3 and Linkages Between Non-State Armed Groups

The second post in our joint blog series arising from the 2017 Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, ‘Common Article 3 and Linkages Between Non-State Armed Groups’- by Ashley Deeks (University of Virginia School of Law) is now available over on Lawfare. Here’s a snippet:…

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The International Legal Framework Regulating Armed Drones

Last week I had the pleasure and honour of delivering the International and Comparative Law Quarterly's Annual Lecture for 2017 together with Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne. Our lecture was based on an article - "International Legal Framework Regulating Armed Drones" - that we co-authored with Professor Christof Heyns and Dr Thompson Chengeta which was published in Volume 65…

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Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court Authorizes Initiation of Investigation in Georgia

On 27 January 2016, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC) authorized the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the situation in Georgia, specifically focusing on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity during and in the immediate aftermath of the August 2008 armed conflict. In the…

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