Category Archives: Topics

Chemical Weapons Convention

  THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC’S USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS & THE CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION by Janet Munro-Nelson Posted:  25 September 2014 (Download PDF) Dulce Et Decorum Est …Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!  — An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
 But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And flound’ring like a […]

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Uighurs in Guantanamo Bay Prison: Innocents or Terrorists?

by Janet Munro-Nelson Posted 29 January 2010 *Updated 21 September 2014 (Download PDF) [NOTE:  This overview of 22 Uighurs in the U.S. Guantanamo Bay Prison was originally written in January 2010.   Shortly after, it was amended when any of the imprisoned Uighurs were released.  It’s been a long road for these men from 2003 when […]

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Fear vs. radiation

Fear vs. radiation: The mismatch* by David Ropeik Posted December 2013  *This Opinion piece as printed here appeared in the International New York Times on 22 October 2013 (Download PDF) Cambridge, Massachusetts  It has been more two and a half years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began to unfold, and still the world watches events […]

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“Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (Draft)”

“Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (Draft)”.     Prepared by the International Group of Experts at the Invitation of The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.     General Editor: Michael N. Schmitt   View The Paper Here  

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A REVIEW OF THE U.S. MILITARY COMMISSIONS

A REVIEW OF THE U.S. MILITARY COMMISSIONS The History, Developments and Changes since 2001 by Janet Munro-Nelson (Download pdf)

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Broken Laws, Broken Lives

Physicians for Human Rights Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes health professionals to advance the health and dignity of all people through actions that promote respect for, protection of, and fulfillment of human rights. PHR has a track record of more than 20 years documenting torture around the world, including in Turkey, Chile, Chechnya, Kosovo, […]

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The Use Of Rape In Armed Conflicts

(Download as pdf) As with other armed conflicts including those of the former Yugoslavia, Dafar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now Libya, rape is used as a weapon against civilians—especially women and children– by armed groups.  Margot Wallstrom, U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, in addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council on […]

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Wings over Libya: The No-Fly Zone in Legal Perspective

by Michael N. Schmitt (Download pdf) On March 17, 2011, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, which imposed “a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians.” Excluded from the scope of the ban are humanitarian flights, those evacuating foreign nationals from the country, […]

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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty & Why It Has Not Yet Come Into Legal Force

by Janet Munro-Nelson Posted: 28 February 2011 (Download pdf) The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is considered one of the cornerstones in the effort for global arms control. This treaty’s inception began in 1994. After two years of discussions and negotiations between governmental representatives, a final document was opened for signature in 1996. This was already twenty-six […]

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Israel Institutes Proceedings in Relation to Gaza War

by Katherine Iliopoulos Posted July 26, 2010 Crimes of War Project (Download pdf) Eighteen months after the end of the 2008-2009 Gaza War that claimed the lives of 1,300 Palestinians, the Israeli Defence Force has announced that it has instituted disciplinary and legal proceedings against Israeli soldiers in relation to four incidents, three of which […]

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Civilians At War: Deconstructing the 21st Century Battlefield

(Download pdf) A summary of the Chatham House International Law discussion group meeting held on 1 November 2007. The meeting was chaired by Elizabeth Wilmshurst. Participants included legal practitioners, academics, NGOs, and government representatives. Speaker: Michael N. Schmitt, Stockton Professor of International Law, United States Naval War College The event was sponsored by Cambridge University […]

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Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa

By Paul Collier Posted November 2009 (Download pdf) Why has Africa had so much civil war? In all other regions of the world the incidence of civil war has been on a broadly declining trend over the past thirty years: but in Africa the long term trend has been upwards. Of course, every civil war […]

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The Tribal Path – Commanding the Prime Battle Space – A More Hopeful Strategy for Afghanistan

(Download pdf) Compiled & written by Ken Guest, RAM Seeger, and Lucy Morgan Edwards Posted 20 May 2010 ABOUT THE AUTHORS Ken Guest is a former Royal Marine and photo-journalist. He has recently been working in Kabul and has now been closely involved with Afghanistan for 29 years.  During their struggle against the Soviets he […]

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Rule of Law: A Footnote in Time

by Janet Munro-Nelson Posted: August 2008 (Download pdf) In recent years, the use of the term “rule of law” has become more prevalent.  As a lawyer, I first heard the term about ten years ago during a lecture on international law.  I remember thinking, “What does that mean?” and “Where did that come from?”.  Many […]

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Terrorism and Human Rights

by Conor Gearty *Originally published in the journal, “Government and Opposition” Volume 42, No. 3 Summer 2007, p.340-362 (Download pdf) THE PURPOSE OF THIS ESSAY IS TO CONSIDER THE IMPACT ON HUMAN rights of the recent rise in the importance attached to, and the perceived danger arising from, violent acts of terrorism. By ‘human rights’ […]

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“Change Direction” 2006: Israeli Operations in Lebanon and the International Law of Self-Defense

Michael N. Schmitt* (Download pdf) On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah launched Operation True Promise, the ambush of Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers patrolling the border with Lebanon.1 Three Israelis were killed and two captured. Four more died in an IDF tank responding to the attack, while an eighth perished as Israeli forces attempted to recover […]

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Child “Soldiers” and Civilians—Some Controversial Issues

Jenny Kuper* (Download pdf) There is a common misperception that the issue of children in armed conflict is a simple one, i.e.: that children should not be involved in armed conflict as “soldiers” or civilians, ever. In an ideal world that would certainly be the case. Indeed, in such a world no-one would be involved […]

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The ‘War on Terror’: Do the Rules Need Changing?

by Professor Charles Garraway Chatham House September 2006 Posted: THE BEACON – April 2009 (Download pdf) INTRODUCTION The National Defense Strategy of the United States opens with the sentence ‘America is a nation at war’.  It goes on to say that: ‘Today’s war is against terrorist extremist networks including their state and non-state supporters.’ This […]

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The Prohibition of Torture and Other Abusive Treatments

The Legal, Moral and Ethical Reasons on why the United States Should Never Use Physical or Mental Abuse On Any Individual It Detains Outside the United States by Janet Munro-Nelson Posted December 2007; Updated July 2008 (Download pdf) Prior to September 11, 2001, the United States was one of the leading voices against the use […]

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Two Sides to Every Story: Congo & the Rwandan Genocide

by Katherine Iliopoulos Posted 30 September 2010 Crimes of War Project (Download pdf) Narratives on the 1990s in Rwanda focus invariably on the country’s darkest hour: the genocide perpetrated by the Hutu against the Tutsi. It seems to many as if the story began shortly before April, 6, 1994, when the incumbent President’s plane was […]

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Maritime Piracy and International Law

By Professor Donald R. Rothwell Posted October 2009 (Download pdf) 2008 saw an unprecedented upsurge in piracy at sea resulting in significant international efforts to suppress pirate attacks. The scale and frequency of the pirate incidents throughout the past year combined to create contemporary challenges for international shipping which have probably not experienced such significant […]

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The Convention on Cluster Munitions

  by Janet Munro-Nelson Posted: November 2008 Updated: 31st August 2011 (Download pdf) On 30 May 2008 in Dublin, Ireland, some 107 countries negotiated and adopted a draft treaty to ban the use of cluster munitions.  The draft of the new treaty, “the Convention on Cluster Munitions” (CCM), was finally agreed after ten intensive days […]

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Cluster Munitions

Gary  Solis** (Download pdf)   Cluster bombs are not banned weapons.  Cluster bomb units (CBUs) do not fall under any of the five 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) protocols, yet fear of non-detectable fragments of exploding CBUs was a driving force behind CCW Protocol I.  “Although the effects of unexploded cluster bomblets are in […]

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A Brief Overview of International Law

by Janet Munro-Nelson March 2009 (Download pdf) In matters of world-wide concern, it is international law that determines the responsibilities and obligations of each State, organisation or individual. In the past 50 years, the world has become even more interconnected with the huge leaps in communication and technology, and a growing dependency on other countries […]

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The Legal Entitlement of a Future Palestinian State to Territory

Editor’s Note: The following is an Abstract of “The Israel-Palestine Conflict in International Law: Territorial Issues” written by the authors and published in 2009. by Iain Scobbie* with Sarah Hibbin** September 2009, Posted: June 2010 (Download pdf) Introduction: The status of the territories Israel occupied as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967 has […]

Also posted in Human Rights, Law of armed conflict, Middle East | 2 Responses

Terrorism & Morality

Understanding the Language of Terrorism* by Conor Gearty *From, Essays on Human Rights and Terrorism: Comparative Approaches to Civil Liberties in Asia, the EU and North America by Conor Gearty (Cameron May) 2008. (Download pdf) Any analysis of the relationship between terrorism and morality must start with careful consideration of what is meant by ‘terrorism’. […]

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Demographics of Guantanamo Bay Prison

by Janet Munro-Nelson Posted August 2008; Updated May 2011 (Download pdf)   I.  THE HISTORY OF U.S. CONTROL OF GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA The United States joined the Cubans in their war against their colonial ruler, Spain, in February 1898 after the U.S. warship, the U.S.S. Maine, was blown up by the Spanish in Havana harbour.  […]

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