Starting in April 2018, a two years research project, hosted at the University of Geneva and at the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, will look at the protection of animals in times of armed conflicts. The project will be coordinated by Jérôme de Hemptinne, Lecturer at the Geneva Academy, under the Direction of Robert Kolb, Professor at the University of Geneva and at the Geneva Academy. It will be linked to the research project ‘Global Animal Law’ at Max Planck.
In times of war, the first instinct is to relieve the suffering of human beings. Environmental and animal interests are always pushed into the background. However, warfare also strongly affects natural resources, including animals, which makes wildlife issues a matter of great concern. Habitat destruction and the resulting disappearance of animals often threaten the survival of populations affected by hostilities.
‘Over the last 50 years, certain species have been vanishing at a very high rate because of wars, with often disastrous effects on the food chain and on the balance of nature. Indeed, as recently emphasized by a report published in the Journal Conservation Biology, during this period, 80 per cent of armed conflicts have taken place in countries – such as Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda or Vietnam – that contain areas of high global species diversities’ underlines Jérôme de Hemptinne.
Being deeply anthropocentric, international humanitarian law (IHL) largely ignores questions relating to the protection of animals during armed conflicts. This research project precisely aims at filling this gap by producing an edited scholarly volume on this issue.
The Geneva Academy will host the second international conference of this project, scheduled to take place two months before the end of the project, to discuss the volume’s final draft and examine the relevance and feasibility of legislative proposals.
In 2016, 49 situations of armed violence amounted to armed conflicts according to international humanitarian law and international criminal law. The vast majority are non-international armed conflicts, as in preceding years, highlighting the changing nature of warfare. The analysis highlights two trends: the heavy toll of current armed conflicts on civilians often trapped in sieges and battlefields in cities and increased international interventions in conflicts.
We are pleased to announce that the American Society of International Law has awarded their 2017 Certificate of Merit for ‘High Technical Craftsmanship and Utility to Practicing Lawyers and Scholars’ to the book The 1949 Geneva Conventions: A Commentary, edited by Professors Andrew Clapham, Paola Gaeta, and Marco Sassòli.
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 course analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
This research project looked at the reactions to norms of more than 30 armed groups worldwide.