Nicolas Michel will officially join the Iran-United States Claim Tribunal (IUSCT) in The Hague on 1 January 2018. His appointment was made by the Appointing Authority of the IUSCT, former President of the Netherlands Supreme Court, Geert Corstens. On 12 December 2017, the party-appointed Members of the Tribunal unanimously appointed Nicolas Michel as the President of the Tribunal.
Nicolas Michel is Professor Emeritus at the University of Geneva (Law Faculty) and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He is also the President of the Geneva Academy’s Board.
As an internationally recognized expert in international law, he has worked as the UN Legal Counsel and UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs – the institution’s highest-ranking legal officer. He filled that role for four years, during which time he was closely involved in setting up the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Nicolas Michel also worked for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs as Director of the International Law Directorate and Legal Adviser.
Since September 2015 he is the UN Secretary-General’s political and legal facilitator for the Syria Talks.
Nicolas Michel was also Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and the Law Faculty, University of Geneva, and has taught at the Universities of Fribourg, Lausanne, Neuchatel, Paris II, Beijing (Renmin) and Xiamen.
The IUSCT came into existence as one of the measures taken to resolve the crisis in relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America arising out of the November 1979 hostage crisis at the United States Embassy in Tehran, and the subsequent freezing of Iranian assets by the United States of America.
The Tribunal has jurisdiction to decide claims of United States nationals against Iran and of Iranian nationals against the United States, which arise out of debts, contracts, expropriations or other measures affecting property rights; certain "official claims" between the two Governments relating to the purchase and sale of goods and services; disputes between the two Governments concerning the interpretation or performance of the Algiers Declarations; and certain claims between United States and Iranian banking institutions.
In 2016, 49 situations of armed violence amounted to armed conflicts according to international humanitarian law and international criminal law. The vast majority are non-international armed conflicts, as in preceding years, highlighting the changing nature of warfare. The analysis highlights two trends: the heavy toll of current armed conflicts on civilians often trapped in sieges and battlefields in cities and increased international interventions in conflicts.
Our Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC) online database features new non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) that are taking place in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Somalia. It provides, for each conflict, the factual and methodological basis for its classification and identifies the parties and the applicable international law. Visitors can discover these new NIACs either by browsing the map or by browsing conflicts by type or region.
Un Photo/Violaine Martin
This panel will focus on the practicalities of how international humanitarian law is used and the role it plays in the work of the UN human rights machinery.
This short course discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.
The Geneva Academy team followed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations and provided key information on the negotiations, notably via a daily blog.
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.