I think the question of whether the U.N. Charter is law is misleading or meaningless or both, for reasons that I hope this post will make apparent. But now that I have your attention, I want to sketch a few thoughts about the varied reactions to the airstrikes in Syria by the United States, Great Britain, and France.
Latest in International Law: LOAC
Over the past several months, North Korea’s hostile rhetoric and its repeated nuclear and missile tests have led to calls for action against the threats posed by its regime.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace close to the Syrian border. Israel shot down the UAV and responded by attacking the command vehicle, deep inside Syrian territory, that was operating the drone. Syrian anti-aircraft missiles shot down one of the Israeli airplanes that participated in the strike over Israeli territory. In response, Israel bombed a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.
The recent bilateral talks between North and South Korea in the town of Pyeongchang seem to have de-escalated tensions on the peninsula. The North has agreed to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics, and the two nations have resumed military-to-military communication. In fact, the two countries’ athletes will walk together—under one flag representing a unified Korea—in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.
On first impression, beating the Islamic State fighters to death with shovels sounds like a clear-cut case of stooping to the enemy’s level of barbarity. And yet that is exactly what the senior enlisted adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested in a rallying cry to U.S. forces on Jan. 9:
Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: Wounded and Sick, Proportionality, and Armaments
[Editor's note: This piece is the latest installment in a mutli-blog series building on the Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, as explained in detail here.]
Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict
Wounded and Sick, Proportionality, and Armaments
Editor's note: This piece is the second installment in a mutli-blog series building on the Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, as explained in detail here.
The Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict: A Joint Blog Post Series
This past summer, the Strauss Center at UT was proud to co-host the Fifth Annual Transatlantic Workshop on International Law and Armed Conflict, in partnership with the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (co-directed by Dapo Akande), the Individualisation of War project, Europ
On September 6, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria issued its latest report in anticipation of the current Human Rights Council session. The COI criticizes the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for their failure to document violations of international law. Additionally, the report offers significant evidence indicating that the Assad regime deliberately used chemical weapons against civilians.
Last week I was among a group of international law scholars and practitioners invited to Israel by the Israeli Defense Forces Military Advocate General for a three-day conference focused on contemporary LOAC issues. The goal was to highlight the complex legal issues that arise in modern armed conflicts, with an emphasis on ground combat operations—what military commanders would call combined arms maneuver—against quasi-conventional and highly capable enemies. To this end, our hosts devoted an entire day of the conference to a “field trip” to Israel’s northern border.