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30 November 2018, 12:30-14:00
Register start 23 November 2018
Register end 30 November 2018

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The Pillage of Natural Resources: What Accountability under International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Law?

IHL Talks

Gold mine in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo Gold mine in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Pillage means theft during a war. After World War II, a number of Nazis were prosecuted for pillaging coal, manganese and oil from occupied Europe. The norm is ascendant in contemporary legal practice and political discourse: the International Court of Justice found Uganda responsible for pillage of Congolese natural resources more than a decade ago, the Canadian and Dutch governments sponsored a major international conference at on pillage of natural resources, and Belgian authorities arrested a businessman for allegedly pillaging ‘blood diamonds’ from Sierra Leone. In recent months, the International Criminal Court announced a new prosecutorial policy that would give particular consideration to the illegal exploitation of natural resources.

In a context where more than 40 percent of internal armed conflicts over the last 60 years have been linked to natural resources, this IHL Talk will discuss if and how the rise of pillage as applied to theft of natural resources during war stands to bolster the pacifist ambitions behind Article 2(4) of the United Nations (UN) Charter. It will also address the issue of how international humanitarian law and international criminal law can provide the legal basis for holding multinational corporations accountable for the commission of international crimes in relation to exploitation of natural resources.

Opening

  • Marco Sassòli, Director of the Geneva Academy and Professor of International Law at the University of Geneva

Moderation

  • Gloria Gaggioli, Swiss National Science Foundation Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva and Lecturer at the University of Neuchâtel

Panelists

  • James G. Stewart, Associate Professor, Allard Law School, University of British Columbia
  • Jelena Aparac, Lecturer and Legal Adviser in International Law and Independent Expert, UN working group on the use of mercenaries

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About IHL Talks

The IHL Talks are a series of events, hosted by the Geneva Academy, on international humanitarian law and current humanitarian topics. Every two months, academic experts, practitioners, policymakers and journalists discuss burning humanitarian issues and their regulation under international law.

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