27 September 2017, 18:00-19:30
Geneva Academy Wednesdays
So-called ‘targeted killings’ and drone strikes remain some of the most controversial aspects of U.S. counterterrorism policy. Despite a number of reforms and efforts at greater transparency in the latter years of the Obama Administration, one enduring criticism is that secrecy and lack of accountability for such operations has hindered the ability of other branches of government, the public, and the international community to exercise effective oversight and verify the legality of U.S. actions, and prevented the ability of victims to obtain redress.
Reports of increased civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria, increased strikes and raids in Yemen, a proposed loosening of the rules on the use of force, uncertainty over the CIA’s role in ‘targeted killings’, and the acquisition of armed drones by an increasing number of governments make these concerns more relevant and urgent than ever.
In a recent report entitled ‘Out of the Shadows’, the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic and the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies comprehensively analyse 15 years of U.S. counterterrorism strikes. The report presents a new framework for transparency against which government’s can be assessed.
This Geneva Academy Wednesday will bring together the authors of the report and others to discuss and evaluate past U.S. practice, analyse recent developments, assess the Trump Administration’s approach to the use of force, transparency, and accountability, and the lessons that can be drawn from this analysis for other states.
Sandra Kraehenmann, Research Fellow, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Tom Gal, Teaching Assistant, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
Waleed Alhariri, Director of the U.S. Office, Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, lead author of the report.
John Borrie, Chief of Research at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
Adriana Edmeades, Legal and Policy Director, Rights Watch (UK).
Alexander Moorehead, Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School and the Director of the Counterterrorism, Armed Conflict and Human Rights Project at Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, lead author of the report.
Geneva Academy Wednesdays (GAW) are a platform coordinated by Geneva Academy researchers and teaching assistants to foster debate and discussion between academics and practitioners on different aspects of international law or international relations.
Geneva Academy, Villa Moynier, 120B Rue de Lausanne, Geneva
Tram 15, tram stop Butini
Bus 1 or 25, bus stop Sécheron
Villa Moynier is accessible to people with disabilities. If you have a disability or any additional needs and require assistance in order to participate fully, please email info[at]geneva-academy.ch
Students of our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Master of Advanced Studies in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law will have the opportunity, during the Spring semester, to follow an optional course on the Islamic law of armed conflict. The course is also open to a limited number of external participants.
Our new publication Kurdish Military Formations in Middle Eastern Battlefields provides an overview of Kurdish history, of current dynamics of the Kurdish question, as well as of Kurdish forces and armed groups in the Middle East. It also analyses how recent developments in the region, including the emergence and fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), are impacting on Kurdish armed groups and alliances.
Michael Sfard, the most prominent Israeli human rights lawyer and author of the book ‘The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine and the Legal Battle for Human Rights’, will address the current situation of human rights defenders in Israel.
This course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
This course examines one of the main purpose of international humanitarian law (IHL), which is to mitigate human suffering caused by war. It enables a careful evaluation of the various IHL rules intended to help protect vulnerable persons, such as civilians and prisoners of war, as well as property during armed conflict.
This research project looked at the protection of civilian populations subject to the control of a foreign army by analyzing the link between the international law of military occupation and human rights.
This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.