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Executive & Military

Military Attacks on “Hospitals Shields”: The Law Itself is Partly to Blame


The MSF Trauma Center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, following the US airstrike on the facility in October 2015. Image by Andrew Quilty. 

From the war in Afghanistan and the US-backed Saudi intervention in Yemen, to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Syrian civil war, hospitals have increasingly been targeted by military forces. …   continue »

UK Government’s Response on Drone Strikes Policy Leaves British Parliament Wanting More

A heads-up to Just Security readers: The UK government has responded to the British Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) report on the use of drones for targeted killings, which the committee launched in response to the Royal Air Force’s August 2015 drone strike in Syria against UK citizen and alleged Islamic State member Reyaad Khan.…   continue »

Mass Hacks of Private Email Aren’t Whistleblowing, They are at Odds With It.


The Exxon Valdez after leaking more than 10 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound in March, 1989. Image via NOAA/Wikimedia

The world of 2016 is one where leaking a lot is much easier than leaking a little. And the indiscriminate compromise of people’s selfies, ephemeral data, and personal correspondence — what we used to rightly think of as a simple and brutal invasion of privacy — has become the unremarkable chaff surrounding a few worthy instances of potentially genuine whistleblowing. …   continue »

International Armed Conflict in Syria and the (Lack of) Official Immunity for War Crimes

Last week, I wrote two posts at Just Security (here and here) on one of the legal consequences that would follow if the situation in Syria is an “international armed conflict” (e.g., a war between States). While there might be an array of legal effects that would be triggered by an international armed conflict, I have focused on provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocol I that require States to apprehend suspected war criminals who pass through their territory and initiate criminal proceedings against such individuals.…   continue »

What Law Applies to the Resort to Force Against Non-State Actors? Filling the Void of “Internal Jus Ad Bellum”

What international legal rules determine when the U.S. government can resort to force against a non-state armed group such as the Khorasan Group, if that organization plans an imminent strike on the United States? And when can a state lawfully use force to stop a homegrown armed group from launching an attack?…   continue »