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.
We are launching an updated version of our Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC) portal, an online database that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). The updated version includes all conflicts that have emerged over the last five years and are still ongoing.
Nicolas Michel will officially join the Iran-United States Claim Tribunal (IUSCT) in The Hague on 1 January 2018.
In this opening lecture of the academic year, Elisabeth Decrey Warner will share her experience, as Co-Founder and Former Executive President of Geneva Call, of promoting respect of international humanitarian law by armed non-state actors.
This course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
This project looked at how to enhance compliance by armed non-state actors with international norms, taking into account the views both of the actors themselves and the experiences of those engaged in dialogue with them.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.