Use of Force

Work started back in 2015 to create a space for debate and exchange of best practices, provide academic expertise to accompany ongoing discussions and negotiations related to the use of force in various UN and regional entities and identify protection gaps and challenges via regular brainstorming on specific issues, an annual meeting and targeted research and publications.

Experts at the annual seminar on use of force and less lethal weapons News

Experts and Law Enforcement Practitioners Discuss New Standards on the Use of Less Lethal Weapons

6 July 2018

Last week, at our annual seminar held in the context of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and its focus on the use of force, participants discussed human rights challenges related to the use of less-lethal weapons and the development of new international standards.

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Policeman during a demonstration Event

Geneva launch of policing law website

28 June 2018, 18:30-20:00

This event accompanies the launch of a brand new online resource PolicingLaw.info. On this occasion, panelists will  will discuss the importance of domestic legal regulations of the use of force by law enforcement officials.

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A desk with books and publications News

Leading Academics Will Address the Use of Less-Lethal Weapons for Law Enforcement Purpose

5 March 2018

Leading academics, law enforcement experts and practitioners from different regions and legal backgrounds, and representatives from international organizations and civil society will join an academic working group to discuss use of force challenges in different contexts.

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TEAM

Christof Heyns

Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria

Kamelia Kemileva

Special Projects Manager

Output

Policing of Assemblies: Use of Force and Accountability

In the 2017 annual expert seminar, participants discussed the implications of ‘public order policing’ for the right to life and compared the practices of law enforcement units in different countries. They also analysed current technological and legal developments in the field, both in terms of their potential advantages and the threats they might engender.

Participants also explored the challenges and opportunities of new technologies, including ‘less-lethal’ weapons and unmanned systems, from the perspectives of both the right to life and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. They also focused on the problems related to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in an ‘extra-custodial’ setting.

The seminar concluded with a call to form an academic working group to look more closely at specific issues, starting with the use of LLW.

Use of Force in Law Enforcement and the Right to Life

In the 2016 annual expert seminar, co-organized with the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, participants addressed key issues related to the right to life such as regulation in armed conflict situations and in the context of law enforcement, the role of investigations, new weapon technologies, the mandatory death penalty and the responsibility of non-state actors.

The Geneva Academy In-Brief Use of Force in Law Enforcement and the Right to Life: The Role of the Human Rights Council draws on these discussions to examine how the right to life is affected by law enforcement agencies’ use of force and identify how the HRC could further promote respect for international standards governing policing. The publication also served as a background to the 2017 expert seminar.