At the end of July, the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict will once again partner with the International Committee of the Red Cross, the University of Texas' Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, the South Texas College of Law, and the Individualization of War Project at the European University Institute to host the 5th annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict. This year, the invitation-only event will take place in Florence, Italy.
The aspiration of this series is to explore the cutting edge of international law issues relating to armed conflict, with a roughly equal mix both of (i) North American and European participants and (ii) academic and government/military practitioners, in addition to legal advisers from the ICRC. The discussions take place in an off-the-record setting, enabling a robust dialogue.
About the past rounds in this series:
The series began in the summer of 2013 with a conference that assembled a broad mix of academic, military, and governmental experts from both North America and the United Kingdom for a roundtable workshop examining fundamental questions of international law relating to military operations. The event placed a particular emphasis on the potential for clashes—and for reconciliation—in circumstances seemingly implicating both International Humanitarian Law (a.k.a., the Law of Armed Conflict) and International Human Rights Law. In 2014, the program expanded to include participants from continental Europe and Israel, and directed its focus on a set of emerging issues that arise in contexts of low-intensity conflict, special operations, and covert action.
The 2015 workshop brought together senior government officials and senior military with leading and emerging academics from the UK, continental Europe, North America and Israel. Some of the issues addressed include targeting in armed conflict (the issue of direct participation in hostilities); humanitarian access in armed conflict; foreign intervention in non-international armed conflicts; and the judicial application of international humanitarian law. In 2016, the event focused on procedural obligations arising under the law of armed conflict. The procedural obligations discussed include the obligations of parties: to engage in review of the lawfulness of detentions in the armed conflict; to guarantee fair trials for those prosecuted for offenses related to the conflict; and to investigate suspected violations of the law of armed conflict. Discussion of these procedural obligations focused on the content and scope of these obligations. The sessions also considered the relationship between the procedural obligations imposed by international humanitarian law and those that may arise under international human rights law. To what extent should the latter inform the former?