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Tag Archive: IHL

Fragmented Wars: International Law and Multi-Territorial Conflict Against Non-State Armed Groups


The legal issues surrounding military operations against non-State armed groups abroad are continuing to generate policy and legal debates. In an article just published in International Law Studies, I examined several questions arising, looking at the ius ad bellum (when a State may lawfully resort to military force), ius in bello (the rules that apply once hostilities exist), and the interplay with human rights.…   continue »

International Cyber Law Politicized: The UN GGE’s Failure to Advance Cyber Norms

On June 23, after years of slow yet meaningful progress in developing State consensus regarding the application of international law norms to cyberspace, the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (otherwise known as the Group of Governmental Experts, or GGE) collapsed.…   continue »

Violence in Cyberspace: Are Disruptive Cyberspace Operations Legal under International Humanitarian Law?

It is already widely acknowledged that cyberspace has become the fifth domain of warfare, and militaries around the world are training various cyber units, who will be supporting military operations, both by defending cyber infrastructure, and by engaging in cyber-attacks, with the purpose of manipulating, interrupting, and damaging the computer systems and networks of the enemy.…   continue »

Letter to the Editor: Response to A Right to Fight?

My sincere thanks to Prof. Adil Haque for engaging with me in a debate, both here and at Opinio Juris, over the moral function of the laws of war. To recap, Adil proposed lowering the threshold for non-international armed conflict (NIAC) to approximate the standard for international armed conflict (IAC), with the noble intention of ensuring humanitarian protections and accountability in the context of “first strikes” by states against armed groups.…   continue »

Trump’s “Safe Areas” in Syria — An Explainer on International Law

In an interview on Wednesday with ABC, President Donald Trump said he would “absolutely do safe zones in Syria.” The leaked draft of the Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” directs the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Defense, to “produce a plan to provide safe areas in Syria and in the surrounding region in which Syrian nationals displaced from their homeland can await firm settlement, such as repatriation or potential third-country resettlement.  continue »

A Right to Fight?

Do the laws of war give soldiers a right to fight, irrespective of their cause and free from other constraints? Or are the laws of war merely one set of constraints among others? In previous posts, I took the view that the laws of war constrain but do not authorize the use of deadly force during armed conflict (see here and here).  continue »

New Symposium Scholarship on Human Shields

We have covered on these pages the legal and moral issues surrounding the use of human shields in contemporary armed conflict situations. The American Society of International Law, in a new partnership with Cambridge Press, released yesterday its first symposium edition of the American Journal of International Law Unbound, which provides stereoscopic perspectives on this phenomenon, which has become “endemic” in modern warfare.…   continue »