Conference on Convergence and Conflicts of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Military Operations
31 August 2012 – 1 September 2012
This conference is a joint-venture between the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) in the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria and the International Law Center of the Swedish National Defence College (SNDFC). The conference, which benefits from the financial support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), will be hosted at the University of Pretoria on 31 August and 1 September 2012.
- Programme: Conference on Convergence and Conflicts of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Military Operations
The topic was determined by the implications of the increased interplay between international human rights law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL): sometimes in ways that imply convergence and other times in ways that suggest conflict. Convergence between IHRL and IHL is well illustrated by the fact that the prohibition on the use and recruitment of child soldiers contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (Article 38(2)-(3)), a IHRL treaty, mirrors the corresponding provision of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions (1977) (Article 77(2)), an IHL treaty, in all material respects. ‘Targeted killings’ on the other hand present a very contemporary example of potential conflict between IHL and IHRL. If in the context of armed conflict a ‘targeted killing’ is carried out that complies with the principles of distinction, proportionality and military necessity, the IHRL rule protecting the right to life will conflict with the IHL rules regarding the engaging of opposing forces.
These situations of convergences and/ or conflicts are particularly acute in non-international armed conflicts, situations of belligerent occupation and in the area of peace support operations (PSOs). Non-international armed conflicts imply that individuals, including members of organized non-state armed groups and civilians that directly participate in hostilities, are ‘within the jurisdiction’ of the territorial state against whom they are fighting. IHRL and IHL may apply equally. In a similar vein, the control exercised by a belligerent occupant entails an exercise of ‘jurisdiction’ and hence triggers the applicability of human rights norms. As far as PSOs are concerned, it becomes increasingly difficult to classify them as taking place in a context of ‘peace’ or ‘armed conflict’. More often than not, the situation implies elements of both.
This in turn elevates the interplay between the fields of IHRL and IHL to great practical significance, as these areas of law provide the most pertinent regulatory framework for the conduct of non-international armed conflicts, belligerent occupation and PSOs. In some situations this interplay results in layers of protection, a better understanding of which can inform responses to contemporary problems of a grave nature, specifically more nuanced social problems such as the use of girl soldiers. Moreover, the pervasiveness of non-international armed conflicts on the African continent renders a furthering of our understanding of the interplay between IHRL and IHL hugely pertinent in practical terms.
Venue: SRC Boardroom, Conference Centre, UP Main Campus.
Costs and Contact: The conference is free of charge. Due to limited space participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible with Ms Pumeza Matwa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition
The First Africa Regional Round of the 2012 Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition will take place from 17 to 18 May 2012. The competition is organised by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL).
The Africa Round is hosted by the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) in the Faculty of Law of the University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
This is a unique opportunity for students to engage in matters of public international law of contemporary relevance to outer space, to develop their legal advocacy skills with other universities throughout the region and to interact in a unique forum for intellectual and cultural exchange. The winner of each regional round will be sent to the International Astronautical Congress – the world’s largest convention for the space industry – to compete in the world finals, which will be judged by three members of the International Court of Justice.
This year, the problem concerns questions related to in-orbit satellite collision, non-cooperative satellite removal and attendant damages.