The Arms Trade Treaty

Completed in September 2016

In 2009, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution setting out a timetable for the elaboration of a ‘strong and robust’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the ‘highest common standards’ to control international transfers of conventional arms.

The Geneva Academy team (Professor Clapham, Dr Casey-Maslen, Dr Giacca and Dr Annyssa Bellal) followed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations – the four preparatory committee meetings (PrepComs) which took place from 2010 to 2012 and the Diplomatic Conference held at the UN in New York from 2–27 July 2012. The team provided key information on the negotiations, notably via a daily blog.

TEAM

Picture of Annyssa Bellal

Annyssa Bellal

Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law

Annyssa Bellal's areas of expertise include public international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and armed non-state actors.

Picture of Stuart Casey-Maslen

Stuart Casey-Maslen

Picture of Gilles Giacca

Gilles Giacca

OUTPUT

Revision of the Advanced Draft Text

Published in October 2012, Geneva Academy Briefing No. 2, The Draft Arms Trade Treaty, reviews the advanced ATT draft text presented to the diplomatic conference in New York.

The Provisions of the Treaty

Following the General Assembly’s adoption of the ATT text on 2 April 2013, the Geneva Academy published Briefing No. 3, The Arms Trade Treaty, which summarizes the process that led to the formal adoption of the text and comments briefly on the provisions of the treaty.

Article 7: Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law

In August 2014, the Geneva Academy published Briefing No. 6, What Amounts to Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law, which analyzes the notion of ‘serious violation of international human rights law’ in relation to Article 7 of the ATT. This article requires a state party to assess, prior to the authorization of the export of conventional arms, the potential of these arms to contribute to the commission or the facilitation of a serious violation of international human rights law.

The Arms Trade Treaty: A Commentary

In August 2016, Andrew Clapham, with Stuart Casey-Maslen (University of Pretoria), Gilles Giacca (International Committee of the Red Cross) and Sarah Parker (Small Arms Survey) published The Arms Trade Treaty: A Commentary (Oxford University Press). This edited volume comprehensively discusses and interprets each provision of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), situating them vis-à-vis relevant legal regimes, including human rights, international humanitarian law and disarmament.

Publications

Cover of the Briefing No6: What Amounts to Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law

Briefing N°6: What Amounts to Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law?

August 2014

Takhmina Karimova

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of the Briefing No3: The Arms Trade Treaty

Briefing N°3: The Arms Trade Treaty

June 2013

Stuart Casey-Maslen, Gilles Giacca, Tobias Vestner

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of the Briefing No2: Draft Arms Trade Treaty

Briefing N°2: Draft Arms Trade Treaty

October 2012

Annyssa Bellal, Andrew Clapham, Stuart Casey-Malsen, Gilles Giacca

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

The press is briefed by the representatives of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, Palais des Nations. 5 September 2018 Event

International Humanitarian Law in the Work of United Nations Human Rights Bodies

November 2018, 13:15-14:45

This panel will focus on the practicalities of how international humanitarian law is used and the role it plays in the work of the UN human rights machinery.

Read more

Homs (Syria), Homs. Destroyed buildings. Event

Forced Displacement and Demographic Engineering in Syria

November 2018, 17:30-19:00

In the context of the 2018 Geneva Peace Week and in partnership with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), this event will address forced displacement and demographic engineering in Syria.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

7 February - March 2019

This short course discusses the extent to which states may  limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

Read more

Short Course

The Law of Non-International Armed Conflicts

15- March 2019

This short course discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.

Read more

South Sudan, Warrab. An ICRC information session on the Law of Armed Conflict with soldiers from Warrab State. Project

Armed Non-State Actors and the Human Rights Council

Completed in January 2015

Launched in 2016, this project aimed to identify whether, to what extent and under what circumstances armed non-state actors incur obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights (HR) law.

Read more

Central African Republic, Ouham province, village of Ouogo. International Humanitarian Law dissemination session to members of the Peoples' Army for the Restoration of Democracy. Project

From Words to Deeds: A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms

Started in January 2017

This project aims at compiling and analysing the practice and interpretation of selected international humanitarian law and human rights norms by armed non-state actors (ANSAs). It has a pragmatic double objective: first, to offer a comparative analysis of IHL and human rights norms from the perspective of ANSAs, and second, to inform strategies of humanitarian engagement with ANSAs, in particular the content of a possible ‘Model Code of Conduct’.

Read more