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10 May 2022
The digitalization of warfare proceeds quickly, as witnessed during the international armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 or the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
A key question related to the increasing employment of digital technologies in warfare – artificial intelligence/machine learning, drones, swarms, or ‘human enhancement’ technologies – is whether the existing legal frameworks, including international humanitarian law (IHL), are up to the task when it comes to the efficacy of the law of armed conflict and the protection it affords.
Written by Dr Henning Lahmann, our new Working Paper The Future Digital Battlefield and Challenges for Humanitarian Protection: A Primer provides an overview of the various novel technologies that together form part of the ‘future digital battlefield’ and assesses some of the implications they have for humanitarian protection in armed conflict.
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Based on the discussions during a high-level expert workshop conducted in August 2021, the paper identifies five main aspects regarding humanitarian protection that merit further research:
Without attempting to provide definitive answers, the paper gives an overview of these issues and hints at possible legal solutions.
‘This paper frames the entire topic of our research project ‘Disruptive Military Technologies’ on a general level, identifies the most contentious legal issues, and thus serves as a very good basis for subsequent research we will carry out within this project’s scope’ explains Professor Marco Roscini, Swiss IHL Chair at the Geneva Academy.
Markus Spiske, Unsplash
Applications for the 2023–2024 academic year of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights are open. They will run until 27 January 2023 for applications with a scholarship and until 23 February 2023 for applications without a scholarship.
Daniel Fyfe follows our online Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict while working as an Associate Expert at OHCHR in Geneva on UN treaty bodies’ individual communications procedures.
Special Jurisdiction for Peace
In this discussion co-organized with the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN in Geneva, the President of Colombia's Special Jurisdiction for Peace Magistrate Roberto Vidal will discuss the challenges and achievements of this body.
In this talk, Professor Frédéric Mégret will seek to excavate an understanding of IHL as partly about protecting one’s population rather than minimizing harm to ‘other’ populations.
This online short course discusses the extent to which states may limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter-terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.
Organized by the Geneva Academy and the ICRC, the Advanced IHL seminar for academics and humanitarian policymakers aims to enhance the capacity of academics to teach and research IHL and contemporary issues arising during armed conflict, while also equipping policymakers with an in-depth understanding of ongoing legal debates and their relevance to decision-making.
This project aims at staying abreast of the various military technology trends; promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies; and furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.
The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC) is a unique online portal that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). It is primarily a legal reference source for a broad audience, including non-specialists, interested in issues surrounding the classification of armed conflicts under IHL.