Rules of Engagement

Completed in December 2011

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.

Research Team

This research project was carried out by Annyssa Bellal and Stuart Casey-Maslen.

OUTPUT

The resulting report, Rules of Engagement: Protecting Civilians through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors, was published in October 2011 in English, French and Spanish. It proposes ten ‘policy rules’ that notably call for a greater and systematic engagement with ANSAs as well as a clarification of the legal framework applicable to these actors. It also suggests the development of a model international code of conduct to explicitly apply to the behaviour of ANSAs.

This three-year study took into account the feedback of academics, governments, international and non-governmental organizations as well as ANSAs themselves and was cited by the UN Secretary-General in his 2010 Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. The Secretary-General relied on our research findings to explain the different incentives influencing ANSAs to better respect international law.

Publications

Cover of the Rules of Engagement: Protecting Civilians through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors

Rules of Engagement: Protecting Civilians through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors

October 2011

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of Règles d'engagement - La protection des civils à travers un dialogue avec les acteurs armés non étatiques

Règles d'engagement - La protection des civils à travers un dialogue avec les acteurs armés non étatiques

October 2011

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of Reglas del Juego - Cómo Proteger a los Civiles mediante el diálogo con los actores armados no estatales

Reglas del Juego - Cómo proteger a los civiles mediante el diálogo con los actores armados no estatales

October 2011

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Map of the RULAC online portal with the pop-up window showing the NIACs in Nigeria. News

RULAC Classifies the Armed Violence between the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Islamic State in West Africa Province as a Non-International Armed Conflict

March 2020

Our RULAC website provides a detailed analysis and legal classification of this conflict, including information about parties, its classification and applicable international law.

Read more

Map of the RULAC online portal with the pop-up window showing the NIACs in Mexico. News

Two New Non-International Armed Conflicts in Mexico Involving the Sinaloa Drug Cartel

March 2020

Further research conducted by the RULAC research team highlighted that the level of organization of the Sinaloa Cartel, as well as the intensity of the armed violence between this cartel and both the Mexican armed forces and the CJNG allow classifying these two situations as non-international armed conflicts.

Read more

ICC Trial Chamber VIII declares Mr Al Mahdi guilty of the war crime of attacking historic and religious buildings in Timbuktu and sentences him to nine years’ imprisonment Project

Modes of Liability for International Crimes

Completed in January 2015

This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.

Read more

Central African Republic, Ouham province, village of Ouogo. International Humanitarian Law dissemination session to members of the Peoples' Army for the Restoration of Democracy. Project

From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms

Started in January 2017

This project aims at compiling and analysing the practice and interpretation of selected international humanitarian law and human rights norms by armed non-state actors (ANSAs). It has a pragmatic double objective: first, to offer a comparative analysis of IHL and human rights norms from the perspective of ANSAs, and second, to inform strategies of humanitarian engagement with ANSAs, in particular the content of a possible ‘Model Code of Conduct’.

Read more

Cover page of the Annual Report 2019 Publication

Annual Report 2019

published on May 2020

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms

published on December 2019

Annyssa Bellal, Pascal Bongard, Ezequiel Heffes

Read more