Starting in April 2018, a two years research project, hosted at the University of Geneva and at the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, will look at the protection of animals in times of armed conflicts. The project will be coordinated by Jérôme de Hemptinne, Lecturer at the Geneva Academy, under the Direction of Robert Kolb, Professor at the University of Geneva and at the Geneva Academy. It will be linked to the research project ‘Global Animal Law’ at Max Planck.
In times of war, the first instinct is to relieve the suffering of human beings. Environmental and animal interests are always pushed into the background. However, warfare also strongly affects natural resources, including animals, which makes wildlife issues a matter of great concern. Habitat destruction and the resulting disappearance of animals often threaten the survival of populations affected by hostilities.
‘Over the last 50 years, certain species have been vanishing at a very high rate because of wars, with often disastrous effects on the food chain and on the balance of nature. Indeed, as recently emphasized by a report published in the Journal Conservation Biology, during this period, 80 per cent of armed conflicts have taken place in countries – such as Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda or Vietnam – that contain areas of high global species diversities’ underlines Jérôme de Hemptinne.
Being deeply anthropocentric, international humanitarian law (IHL) largely ignores questions relating to the protection of animals during armed conflicts. This research project precisely aims at filling this gap by producing an edited scholarly volume on this issue.
The Geneva Academy will host the second international conference of this project, scheduled to take place two months before the end of the project, to discuss the volume’s final draft and examine the relevance and feasibility of legislative proposals.
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law will have the opportunity, during the Spring semester, to follow an optional course on the Islamic law of armed conflict. The course is also open to a limited number of external participants.
Arthur Nguyen Dao
We awarded, during our 2017 Graduation Ceremony, three prizes to graduating students for their exceptional academic work: the Henry Dunant Research Prize, the Best LLM Paper Prize and the Best Master in Transitional Justice (MTJ) Paper Prize.
In the framework of the LLM course on international humanitarian law (IHL), students will plead for Israel and Palestine arguing that the side they represent has respected IHL while the adverse side has violated IHL.
In the framework of the LLM course on international humanitarian law (IHL) given by Professor Gloria Gaggioli, students will plead for Russia and Georgia arguing that the side they represent respected IHL while the adverse side has violated IHL.
This course examines one of the main purpose of international humanitarian law (IHL), which is to mitigate human suffering caused by war. It enables a careful evaluation of the various IHL rules intended to help protect vulnerable persons, such as civilians and prisoners of war, as well as property during armed conflict.
Several ad hoc fact-finding and inquiry commissions have been established to assess some of the most serious situations of human rights and humanitarian law violations across the world. With such mechanisms gaining influence, the question arises of whether a minimum formal standard of proof (or degree of certainty) exists or is required when such bodies adjudicate on such serious matters.
This project examined the legal requirements that the use of autonomous weapon systems would need to comply with in a number of scenarios envisaged by proponents of increasing autonomy in weapon systems.