We extend a warm welcome to a new initiative at Harvard Law School: The Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC). Headed up by Professor Gaby Blum and Naz Modirzadeh, PILAC will complement the growing array of new research centers concerned with national security law and policy by focusing specifically on public international law and its relationships to armed conflict. Public international law is broadly conceived by the Program to include areas such as state responsibility, international criminal law, as well as the law of armed conflict and human rights.

PILAC is off to a great start with a range of specific topics that have not received the kind of expert attention that this Program offers. Those topics include:

  • humanitarian protection where armed groups control territory;
  • provision of medical care to wounded fighters;
  • information required by military commanders before launching an attack.

I am also pleased to learn that Just Security’s Michael Schmitt will be PILAC’s inaugural fellow.

We look forward to watching PILAC’s work and wish them the best of luck in their first year and beyond.