A New Rule of Law in Armed Conflict Online Portal

Homepage of the Rule of Law in Armed Conflict Portal Homepage of the Rule of Law in Armed Conflict Portal

We are launching an updated version of our Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (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.

 New and Updated Armed Conflicts

This version entails new and updated armed conflicts, as well as a map allowing visitors to search armed conflicts and parties to these conflicts via multiple filters. ‘The map offers visitors a more intuitive approach: they can visualize where conflicts take place and where parties to these conflicts are’ underlines Sandra Krähenmann, Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy. ‘We clearly see, via the map, that while most armed conflicts are taking place in the Middle East and on the African continent, parties to these conflicts are from across the world’ she adds.

As a legal reference source for a broad audience, RULAC is regularly updated to integrate new armed conflicts and developments. Today, RULAC monitors more than 13 situations of armed conflicts: 2 military occupations, 2 situations of international armed conflicts and 9 situations of non-international armed conflicts. These conflicts are taking place in 9 countries: Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and Yemen.

For each armed conflict, RULAC provides the factual and methodological basis for its classification, and identifies the parties and the applicable international law. The portal also includes sections on the definition and categories of armed conflict under IHL and the legal framework governing armed conflicts.

 Armed Conflict in Syria

An Independent and Impartial Assessment

While there are many different definitions of armed conflict used for different purposes, the question whether a situation of armed violence amounts to an armed conflict under IHL has important consequences. States involved in armed conflicts have rights and duties that do not exist in times of peace.

The classification of situations of armed violence is fraught with difficulties. Many states deny that they are involved in armed conflicts, arguing instead that they are engaged in counter-terrorism operations. Others apply IHL to situations that do not amount to an armed conflict. Moreover, contemporary armed conflicts are increasingly complex due to the multitude of state and non-state parties involved.

Based on open source information, RULAC provides an independent and impartial assessment that identifies situations of armed conflict under IHL. It is intended to assist other actors that may want to classify situations of armed violence for their purposes.

By making such information available to a broad, non-specialist audience, including by using visual tools, the RULAC project strives to promote a more coherent approach classifying conflicts, and, ultimately, to foster implementation of the applicable legal framework, a key element for accountability and the protection of victims.

Non International Armed Conflict in South Sudan

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Street Art in Bogota News

Improving the Protection of Persons with Disabilities during Armed Conflict: Field Trip to Colombia

27 March 2017

Our researcher Alice Priddy visited Colombia last week as part of our project ‘Improving the Protection of Persons with Disabilities during Armed Conflict’.

Read more

 Libya, Misrata, Tripoli Street. After a battle between members of the armed opposition and government forces. News

THE WAR REPORT: ARMED CONFLICTS IN 2016

10 April 2017

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.

Read more

Marines with India Battery, the artillery attachment for Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire a 120 mm towed mortar system, called the Expeditionary Fire Support System. Military Briefing

Regulation of Weapons and their Use in Military Operations

28 April 2017, 17:00-19:00

This fourth Military Briefing will focus on the main principles that govern the choice of means and methods of warfare (international humanitarian law principles and principles of military strategy).

Read more

South Sudan, Warrab. An ICRC information session on the Law of Armed Conflict with soldiers from Warrab State. Project

Armed Non-State Actors and the Human Rights Council

Completed in January 2015

Launched in 2016, this project aimed to identify whether, to what extent and under what circumstances armed non-state actors incur obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights (HR) law.

Read more

Colombia, Mountains in the Valle del Cauca region, between Santander de Quilichao et Popayan. FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) combattants are getting ready for the fightings. Project

Rules of Engagement

Completed in January 2009

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.

Read more