News & Events

Posted April 20, 2007

Seminar: Applying International Humanitarian Law to Today's Conflicts

May 29-31, 2007

Knowledge of international humanitarian law has become an asset, if not a necessity, for the country’s decision-makers and opinion-shapers. The Human Rights Program of the University of Virginia School of Law, The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are co-sponsoring a short, substantive seminar aimed at building an understanding of the rules of warfare and how they can be applied to the extraordinary circumstances of today's armed conflicts.

Members of the U.S. policy community, practitioners, and other professionals whose work has an impact on the development and/or application of international humanitarian law are invited to attend the seminar May 29-31 at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Va.  (Interested UVA Law students should contact Professor Deena Hurwitz before Friday, April 27.)

MCLE course approval pending.


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 4, 2007. Space is limited. Contact Liz Demarest at (202) 587-4618 or to reserve your place, then download, complete, and send a registration form as soon as possible.

FEE: $350. The fee covers course materials, lodging, and food (excluding dinner). Please indicate if you require financial assistance on the registration form.

Lecturer Bios

Seminar Agenda

All events take place in Purcell Reading Room at the Law School.

11:00-11:30 am Opening remarks and introductions – Andres Kruesi, ICRC
11:30 am-1:30 pm "Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Its Application" – Andres Kruesi, ICRC, and Lt. Col. Ian G. Corey, TJAGLCS
Participants will get an overview of how and where IHL first came into being; how it has developed; and what its sources and basic rules are. Participants will also learn to distinguish between different types of conflicts and which rules of IHL apply to each situation.
1:30-2:30 pm Lunch
2:30-4:00 pm "Means and Methods of Warfare" – Maj. Craig Burton, TJAGLCS
Participants will learn the principles of proportionality, distinction, military necessity, and unnecessary suffering, and how those principles impact military planning and battlefield targeting operations.
4:00-4:15 pm Break
4:15–5:45 pm "Rules of Engagement" – Maj. John Rawcliffe, TJAGLCS
This unclassified presentation will orient students to the major principles of U.S. armed forces rules of engagement (ROE).  Participants will learn how these rules are trained and integrated into targeting operations.  Discussions will explore the fit between IHL and current principles of ROE.
6:00-7:00 pm Reception
8:00–8:30 am Breakfast
8:30–8:45 am Recap of previous day – Andres Kruesi, ICRC
8:45–10:30 am "Protected Persons" – Philip Sundel, ICRC
Participants will learn about identifying groups of persons covered by rules in treaty and/or customary humanitarian law and what specific protections benefit them when, in wartime, they are in the power of the enemy.
10:30–10:45 am Break
10:45 am–12:15 pm "Detention Issues" – Laura Olson, ICRC
This session will address the basis for the deprivation of liberty under IHL as well as the protections provided by this body of law to captured combatants and civilians who are interned/detained in wartime by an adverse party. Afterwards, participants will examine the review process for continued deprivation of liberty as well as release of persons.
12:15–1:15  pm Lunch
1:15–2:45 pm "Complementarity of Human Rights Law and IHL" – Doug Ford, UVA, and Alex Taylor, TJAGLCS
This session will cover the application of human rights law in situations of armed conflict and the parallel application of the two branches of law, to be followed by a description of the U.S. and European doctrinal perspectives.
2:45–3:00 pm Break
3:00–5:00 pm Workshop – Groups break out with case studies and apply what they have learned to a fictional conflict situation.
8:00–8:30 am Breakfast
8:30–8:45 am Recap of previous day – Andres Kruesi
8:45–10:15 am "National Implementation and Enforcement" – Elisa Massimino, Human Rights First; John Norton Moore, UVA
Participants will learn about various mechanisms, including direct enforcement of IHL in domestic legal systems, incorporation of IHL in domestic legislation, and outreach and education seeking implementation of domestic law consonant with IHL.
10:15–10:30 am Break
10:30 am–12:00 pm "Panel Discussion: Legal Regimes – Occupation and Post-Conflict" – Col. Paul Kantwill, TJAGLCS; Paul Hughes, USIP; Sam Zarifi, Human Rights Watch; Deena Hurwitz, UVA (moderator)
This session will briefly outline the major tenets of occupation law including governance, use of property, and humanitarian principles. Thereafter, the panel will explore to what extent occupation law compliments or hinders efforts at nation building and human rights development.
12:00–12:30 pm Wrap-up and evaluations
12:30-2:00 pm Lunch/Guest Speaker - Sarah Sewall, Harvard University, Carr Center

Seminar     UVA School of Law    Seminar

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