Archive 25


‘Humanitarian Action: The Need to Scale Back, Not Up’

An interesting piece on the ICRC’s Humanitarian Law & Policy blog by independent humanitarian analyst and consultant Marc DuBois identifies differing visions for humanitarian action between himself and the ICRC’s Ricardo Fal-Dutra Santos, and argues that the sector needs to “end its lucrative love affair with solutions in the form of new guidelines, agendas and coordination platforms”.

‘Entering the Third Decade of Cyber Threats’

This interesting Lawfare piece argues that the US’ and its allies’ “ambiguous” approach to law and policy in cyberspace is undermining attempts to develop clearly binding norms for State conduct in this area. The author flags the increasing gap between international law and evolving technology in cyberspace, and calls for clearer rules and enforcement mechanisms to govern behaviour […]

‘Sri Lanka Attacks Expose South Asia’s Cooperation Failings’

This East Asia Forum article suggests that – as threats to national security from radicalised internal elements increase – a more comprehensive shared vision of South Asian security cooperation will need to be built up to combat them

‘I Lost my Friend in Vietnam 50 Years Ago: Leaders Must Understand the Cost of Combat’

This moving recent Washington Post opinion piece by Robert H. Scales (retired US Army major general) emphasises the importance of today’s leaders understanding the cost of combat, and listening to those who have previously experienced it.

Forthcoming Book: “Military Law in Australia”

Emeritus Professor Robin Creyke AO, Professor Dale Stephens and Peter Sutherland have edited this forthcoming Federation Press book: Military Law in Australia covers contemporary legal practice in a military context. It is written by a stable of experts drawn from the profession, including a judicial officer, barristers, legal practitioners within Defence, legal academics, and public lawyers […]

Missing Persons in Armed Conflict Briefing and Resolution

On 11 June 2019, the UN Security Council held a briefing on “missing persons in armed conflict” under the protection of civilians agenda item, and subsequently adopted the first ever resolution on this topic. This post from What’s In Blue contextualises the lead up to the Security Council briefing, and this UN News article highlights […]

World Environment Day and Armed Conflict

On World Environment Day (5 June), the ICRC acknowledged anew the impact of armed conflict on the environment, and highlighted the role of IHL in protecting nature from conflict.

ICRC Explainer: What does International Law Say About Pardons for War Crimes?

Further to recent commentary on this issue (particularly in the US), the ICRC published this article on 24 May seeking to clarify the law around pardons and underscoring that the ICRC does not/cannot participate on matters of politics per se.

New Reflections on UN Peacekeeping

Professor Charles T. Hunt of RMIT University has recently published the following two short reflections on UN peacekeeping operations and the protection of civilians:

‘Is it Time to Review the Basis for UN Peacekeeping 71 Years On?’
In this Conversation article, Professor Hunt considers the continuing relevance of the three key principles underpinning the UN peacekeeping doctrine: consent of the parties; minimum use of force; and impartiality. Professor Hunt contemplates whether a new doctrine for a new era (‘Capstone 2.0’) may be required.

‘Reflecting on 20 Years of Protection of Civilians in UN Peace Operations’
In this Australian Institute of International Affairs piece, Professor Hunt marks the 20th anniversary of peacekeepers first being deployed to protect civilians from physical violence, and uses it as an opportunity to reflect on the Protection of Civilians (PoC) mandate. Professor Hunt considers various successes and failures, and the impediments to effective protection, before identifying various ways to improve protection in the future.

The Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law is operated by the University of Melbourne and it is not an agent of, nor affiliated with, or part of, the Australian Government or the Department of Defence.