Rules of Engagement

Completed in December 2011

This project looked at how to enhance compliance by armed non-state actors with international norms, taking into account the views both of the actors themselves and the experiences of those engaged in dialogue with them.

Research Team

This research project was carried out by Annyssa Bellal and Stuart Casey-Maslen.

OUTPUT

The resulting report, Rules of Engagement: Protecting Civilians through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors, was published in October 2011 in English, French and Spanish. It proposes ten ‘policy rules’ that notably call for a greater and systematic engagement with ANSAs as well as a clarification of the legal framework applicable to these actors. It also suggests the development of a model international code of conduct to explicitly apply to the behaviour of ANSAs.

This three-year study took into account the feedback of academics, governments, international and non-governmental organizations as well as ANSAs themselves and was cited by the UN Secretary-General in his 2010 Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. The Secretary-General relied on our research findings to explain the different incentives influencing ANSAs to better respect international law.

Publications

Cover of the Rules of Engagement: Protecting Civilians through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors

Rules of Engagement: Protecting Civilians through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors

October 2011

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of Règles d'engagement - La protection des civils à travers un dialogue avec les acteurs armés non étatiques

Règles d'engagement - La protection des civils à travers un dialogue avec les acteurs armés non étatiques

October 2011

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of Reglas del Juego - Cómo Proteger a los Civiles mediante el diálogo con los actores armados no estatales

Reglas del Juego - Cómo proteger a los civiles mediante el diálogo con los actores armados no estatales

October 2011

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Destuction in eastern Ukraine News

Referendums on Joining Russia in Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson: What Impact on Conflicts Classification?

10 October 2022

Our Research Fellow Dr Chiara Redaelli tells us whether these referendums will affect our RULAC classification of the armed conflicts that are currently taking place in Ukraine.

Read more

Houses destroyed due to the violent war in the city of Taiz, Yemen News

Join our Online Executive Master in the Law of Armed Conflict and Upgrade Your Legal Skills

1 February 2023

Applications for the upcoming academic year of our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict are open. They will run until 30 April 2023, with courses starting at the end of September 2023.

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

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

27 April - 8 June 2023

This online 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

Syria, Harasta, destroyed buildings Training

Advanced IHL Seminar for Academics and Policymakers

28 August - 1 September 2023

Organized by the Geneva Academy and the ICRC, the Advanced IHL seminar for academics and humanitarian policymakers aims to enhance the capacity of academics to teach and research IHL and contemporary issues arising during armed conflict, while also equipping policymakers with an in-depth understanding of ongoing legal debates and their relevance to decision-making.

Read more

Surveillance Camera Project

COUNTER-TERROR PROJECT: A LEGAL EMPIRICAL APPROACH

Started in June 2019

The ‘Counter-Terror Pro LegEm’ project combines legal analysis with social science research to (1) examine the effectiveness of counterterrorism measures and their effects on human rights and (2) analyse the structure of terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda or the Islamic State and see whether they qualify as ‘organized armed groups’ for the purpose of international humanitarian law.

Read more

Screenshot of the RULAC webpage Project

Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC)

Started in May 2007

The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC) is a unique online portal that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). It is primarily a legal reference source for a broad audience, including non-specialists, interested in issues surrounding the classification of armed conflicts under IHL.

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