Non-State Actors

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The International Law of Intelligence Sharing in Multinational Military Operations: Framing Complicity

In my first post in the series I explained how intelligence sharing can be contrary to international law either because it transgresses a rule that directly prohibits the sharing of intelligence as such, or because of complicity in a partner’s wrongful act. Let us now start examining the problems of complicity in more detail. Two Scenarios of Complicity and Intelligence Sharing There are two basic intelligence sharing scenarios that may trigger a state’s responsibility for complicity: first, intelligence sharing assisting an internationally wrongful act; second, the receiving of intelligence that was obtained and/or shared unlawfully. In the first scenario, during a military operation state A is sharing intelligence with partner state or non-state actor B, which then facilitates B’s commission of an internationally wrongful act. That wrongful act can be a serious violation of international humanitarian law (IHL) or IHRL, such as torture, or a less serious violation of either regime. Or it can violate some other rule of international law, such as the sovereignty of a…

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State-Empowered Actors in the European Court of Human Rights – State Sovereignty and Council of Europe Authority

  Human rights conventions constitute a particular category of international law in respect of which individuals, exceptionally, are empowered to act because of their status as rights holders. Nowhere is this more evident than in regional bodies, such as the Council of Europe, which are founded on human rights conventions the ratification of which is a necessary criterion…

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A Collective Failure to Prevent Turkey’s Operation ‘Peace Spring’ and NATO’s Silence on International Law

Since last week Turkey has been using massive military force in Syria. Turkey has decided to call her military operation ‘Peace Spring’. ‘Peace Spring’ seems to be even more extensive than ‘Olive Branch’, Turkey’s preceding invasion of Syria. ‘Peace Spring’ has already resulted in the flight of tens of thousands of civilians. Worldwide, observers fear that ‘Peace Spring’…

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“Sustainable Self-Defense”? How the German Government justifies continuing its fight against ISIL in Syria

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria”, US President Trump, tweeted on 19 December 2018. “We just took over 100% caliphate. That means the area of the land.”, he added in March 2019. Nonetheless, until to date, the global coalition against the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) continues its military operations in Iraq and…

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Compliance with IHL by Non-State Armed Groups: Some Practical Reflections at the 70th Anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions

That non-State armed groups (NSAGs) engage in hostilities on a frequent basis is not news. Indeed, NSAGs are active in the majority of contemporary armed conflicts (at 19). What seems to have changed in the last few years is the increasing attention that the international community is paying to their behavior, largely due to the impact that…

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