Archive 33


Mistakes of Fact in International Law

Two recent articles of note were published on the EJIL: Talk! blog post this week. The first is by Marko Milanovic, and is a three-part entry titled ‘Mistakes of Fact When Using Lethal Force in International Law’. Milanovic uses Iran’s accidental shooting down of a Ukraine passenger airliner as the catalyst to explore these issues, and considers whether there is a current gap in the various different sub-fields of international law dealing with this question.

Henning Lahman has responded in a piece titled ‘Mistake of Fact in Putative Self-Defence against Cyber Attacks’. While mostly agreeing with Milanovic’s conclusions, Lahman also adds specific points relevant to self-defence within cyber infrastructures.

Security Council Report – January 2020 Monthly Forecast

This monthly forecast published by Security Council Report provides a forecast on likely action undertaken by the United Nations Security Council in January 2020, including the receipt of monthly briefings on the situation in Mali / MINUSMA, Libya / UNSMIL and Cyprus / UNFICYP.

New International Review of the Red Cross edition on ‘Memory and War’ out now

The newest edition of the Review is dedicated to examining the psychological impacts of war, and the associated issues related to remembering conflict. In particular, this edition looks at how memory affects those persons left behind after war has ceased, and examines commemoration practices implemented by authorities and communities. There are contributions from Helene Dumas and Rain Liivoja, among others.

New ICRC blog post – ‘Reflections of a Humanitarian Bureaucrat’

This new post published on the ICRC’s Humanitarian Law & Policy blog by Hugo Slim reflects on his career and tracks the growth of the humanitarian sector “and its parallel bureaucratisation at the expense of charisma”. Slim argues that an improved balance between bureaucracy and charisma could improve humanitarian response and impact when responding to the new challenges facing those working in the sector in 2020 and beyond.

‘Trump’s Threat to Target Iran’s Cultural Heritage is Illegal and Wrong’

This recent Chatham House expert comment focuses on US President Donald Trump’s recent threat to target Iranian cultural sites in response to any retaliation over the killing of Qassem Soleimani, noting that such action is prohibited under the 1954 Hague Convention. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has previously rejected such criticisms, arguing that such strikes would fall within international law.

‘Did the President have the Domestic Legal Authority to Kill Qassem Soleimani?’

This article on the Lawfare website last week focuses on the legality of President Donald Trump’s recent order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in a targeted drone strike. The author focuses specifically on US domestic law (rather than international law), and notes the gradual erosion of checks and balances on the President’s ability to deploy military force overseas. See also this commentary from Crisis Group and Chatham House. Foreign Policy considers whether Iran’s revenge might extend beyond direct military action.

Subsequent commentary tracking Iranian retaliation against US forces in Iraq has been published on EJIL: Talk!, and Lawfare has published a new e-book compiling analytical commentary materials previously published on its website. The ASPI considers what the US must do next to avoid war with Iran, and Chatham House’s regional experts consider how the new dynamics of the US-Iran standoff will reverberate throughout the Middle East.

National NGO Program on Humanitarian Leadership – Online Course

This free online course explores humanitarian leadership, humanitarian management and key issues relevant to the advancement of humanitarian principles and alleviation of suffering. Modules include: “Challenges in Humanitarian Security” and “Planning and Risk Management in Humanitarian Response”.

LCIL Friday Lunchtime Lecture Series – Lent Term 2020

The Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (LCIL) has released its Friday Lunchtime Lecture Series for the Lent Term 2020 (January – March). Topics covered include feminist approaches to international criminal law; human uses of outer space; and judicial dissent in international law.

New Zealand Defence Force Releases Climate Change Implementation Plan

This Plan was released on 8 December 2019, and highlights the NZDF’s current efforts and future commitments relating to climate change (as well as the associated challenges climate change will bring over the next decade). This includes recognising the potential of climate change to increase the needs for humanitarian and disaster relief, as well as the potential to present security risks.

‘Three Reasons Why Education Needs the Support of Humanitarian Actors in Conflict Zones’

This new post on the ICRC’s Humanitarian Law & Policy blog considers the role and function of humanitarian actors in conflict zones when education systems are impacted. The author argues that humanitarian workers may in fact often be uniquely placed to provide educational needs in such contexts.

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.