On 10-11 July 2014, the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC), and the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations (HRFG), together with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), convened a meeting of legal experts as part of a joint project aimed at bringing greater clarity to certain aspects of the law regulating relief operations in situations of armed conflict. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a Guide to the Law Regulating Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict being prepared by ELAC and HRFG for OCHA.

The meeting was the latest in a series of consultations convened by OCHA, ELAC and HRFG in the implementation of a mandate given to OCHA by the United Nations Secretary-General in his November 2013 report to the UN Security Council on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. Those consultations have largely taken place in meetings, held in Oxford, of legal experts drawn from United Nations agencies, NGOs, the ICRC, academics, the international judiciary, as well as those with experience in governments.

The Guide aims to present the rules of international law regulating humanitarian relief operations in situations of armed conflict, together with a commentary on those rules. It is intended to provide guidance to a variety of actors, including State and non-state parties to armed conflict, international and non-governmental organizations seeking to carry out relief operations, and the various relevant UN bodies, including the Security Council and General Assembly.