Event information

20 October 2022, 18:30-20:00

The Role of Military Legal Advisors: A Wide-Ranging Conversation with Brigadier General Dan Kuwali

Military Briefings

First Lt. Peter Cacossa directs an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter from a rooftop toward the sound of small-arms fire heard during a raid in Mosul, Iraq, April 17, 2008. First Lt. Peter Cacossa directs an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter from a rooftop toward the sound of small-arms fire heard during a raid in Mosul, Iraq, April 17, 2008.

Military legal advisors play a critical function in armed forces around the world. They advise on the legality of military operations and ensure compliance with international legal standards on all aspects related to the actions of armed forces (detention, occupation etc.). Military legal advisors also train soldiers of all ranks on the laws and regulations of armed conflict, maintain military discipline, and often serve as bridges with the civilian world, through cooperation with other branches of government or academia. In their functions, they navigate a complex web of legal instruments, policies, directives, and chains of command, and have to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Yet their role is not always easy to understand from the outside.

This Military Briefing will attempt to answer some of the questions one might have on the function and day-to-day tasks of military legal advisors and offer a glimpse into the functioning of armed forces and the specific role of law and lawyers.

Speaker

Brigadier General Dan Kuwali serves in the Malawi Defence Force as Commandant of the National Defence College. He is also a former Chief of Legal Services and Judge Advocate General, and served as Division Legal Advisor in the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).

Outside of his military assignments, Mr Kuwali is a Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University. He is also an Extraordinary Professor of International Law at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. He also served in various capacities in the Malawi University of Science and Technology, the University of Lilongwe, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the U.S. Army War College, and the African Bar Association.

Mr Kuwali’s work and research interests span a spectrum of issues ranging from global security, policy, and strategy to international law and international relations, including international criminal law, human rights and humanitarian law.

About the Military Briefings

Military Briefings are a unique series of events relating to military institutions and the law. They aim to improve our students’ knowledge of military actors and operations and build bridges between the military and civilian worlds.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Armoured vehicle patrolls the border, Tajikistan News

RULAC: Fighting between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Amounts to an International Armed Conflict

26 September 2022

According to our RULAC online portal, the border fighting between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that took place in mid-September 2022 amounts to an international armed conflict (IAC).

Read more

Portrait of Nataliia Hendel News

Ukrainian IHL Professor Hosted at the Geneva Academy

31 October 2022

The Geneva Academy is hosting during a year Dr Nataliia Hendel, a Professor of international law at the International Humanitarian University in Odesa, Ukraine, and an expert in IHL.

Read more

Nuclear missiles Event

Changing the Rules of the (Nuclear) Game: Voices from the Humanitarian, Technological, Strategic and Legal Fields

20 February 2023, 18:00-19:30

This IHL Talk will address today's place of nuclear weapons, including their humanitarian impact, the impact of technological advancements, the relevance of the deterrence narrative and implications on the international legal framework.

Read more

Aleppo, Syria: great Umayyad mosque. Destructions. Event

Book Launch: Cultural Heritage and Mass Atrocities

1 March 2023, 18:15-20:00

At this book launch, one of the book’s editors will discuss cultural heritage and mass atrocities with contributors to the book and specialists.

Read more

Syria,  Aleppo, great Umayyad mosque. Destructions. Short Course

The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

10 February - 14 March 2023

This online short 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.

Read more

Yemen,  Sana'a, Faj Attan district. Destruction. Short Course

From Use of Force to Responsibility to Protect

24 May - 6 June 2023

This online short course provides an overview of the content and evolution of the rules governing the use of unilateral force in international law, including military intervention on humanitarian grounds and the fight against international terrorism. It focuses on the practice of states and international organizations.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Council Project

IHL Expert Pool

Started in January 2022

The IHL-EP works to strengthen the capacity of human rights mechanisms to incorporate IHL into their work in an efficacious and comprehensive manner. By so doing, it aims to address the normative and practical challenges that human rights bodies encounter when dealing with cases in which IHL applies.

Read more

Cover page of the study Publication

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

published on September 2022

Annyssa Bellal, Pascal Bongard, Ezequiel Heffes

Read more