Talk by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donohoe at SLS

Eileen Chamberlain Donohoe, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, spoke this afternoon at Stanford Law School. She articulated five goals for the U.S.  in the upcoming years at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

1. Improve the Council’s ability to respond in real time to human rights emergencies, including taking preventative measures.

2. Support victims of human rights abuses.

3. Promote a more diverse mix of issues that are addressed by the Council.

4. Lower resistance to investigations of violations committed by individual countries.

5. Promote human rights defenders in all jurisdictions.


Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law Scholarship

Looks like Prof. Don Anton’s round-up of international law publications will be a useful and timely resource.

Don Anton is a professor of international law at the Australian National  University College of Law.

Anton’s Weekly Digest of International Law Scholarship

Table of Contents of the latest issue:

I. SSRN Legal Scholarship Network & bepress Legal Repository

II. Books

III. Law Journals

IV. Blogs/News Papers (Select Entries)

V. Gray Literature

VI. Documents


Guide to Pakistani Militant Groups

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis has posted a guide to militant groups in Pakistan, which includes a brief list of sources. The guide provides the name, base of support, areas of operation, and targets for each group.

Pakistan: A Guide to Main Militant Groups

Oct 13, 2010


New book on International Humanitarian Law

Jakob Kellenberger, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, has published a new book on the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law.

Humanitären Völkerrechts (International Humanitarian Law)

Jakob Kellenberger

Frauenfled: Huber, 2010



Conference on International Humanitarian Law

40th Anniversary of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law

Round Table on “Global Violence: Consequences and Responses”

San Remo, Italy

September 9-11, 2010

Conference Sessions:

I. Contemporary Forms of Armed Violence: International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law at a Crossroad.

II. Deprivation of Liberty in Armed Conflict and Other Situations of Violence.

III. Individual Guarantees in Detention.

Panelists include international judges, military officers, UN officials, ICRC officials, academics, NGO representatives, and government ministers.

War Games: the Story of Aid and War in Modern Times

April 17, 2010 edition of the Financial Times published a review of Linda Polman’s book: War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times, which discusses contemporary and historical developments of humanitarian aid.

Aid and Abet: Do Humanitarian Agencies Inadvertantly Prolong Conflict?

Hugh Carnegy

Financial Times, April 17, Life & Arts p. 16

War Games: the Story of Aid and War in Modern Times

Linda Polman

Viking, 2010

Excerpts from the Financial Times book review

Polman traces the genesis of today’s aid culture to the mid-19th Century, two contemporary humanitarians, the Swiss Henri Dunant and the Briton Florence Nightingale, were prompted by the horrors of war to take action. But they had very different outlooks.

Nightingale was determined that governments and executive authorities responsible for conflicts should be forced into taking responsibility for the consequences – they should not be allowed to duck those responsibilities because voluntary organizations were prepared to step in to offer care and succour to victims of war.

Dunant, by contrast, lobbied for international volunteer organizations to help – without conditions wounded soldiers (in those days, the victims of war were overwhelmingly combatants, not civilians. In 1863 he founded the ICRC to offer aid based on principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence. Nightingale dismissed it as “absurd.” But it is those founding principles of the ICRC that have come to dominate the world’s aid industry.

Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement

The U.S. Naval War College has posted the November 2009 edition of the Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement, published by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. The document includes discussion of  land, maritime, air, outer space, and cyberspace military operations. Hat tip to Kelly Vinopal.

Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement

From the Foreward:

The text has been prepared by Commander Alan Cole RN, Major Phillip Drew, Canadian Forces, Captain Rob McLaughlin, RAN and Professor Dennis Mandsager, Captain, JAGC, US Navy (Ret.). The final draft has been reviewed by a team of Council members of the Institute, composed of Brigadier General Erwin Dahinden, Dr. Baldwin de Vidts, Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Professor Marie Jacobsson, Dr. Michael Meyer and Professor Michel Veuthey, with the cooperation of Colonel Darren Stewart, Director of the Military Department of the Institute.

There are no other Handbooks of its type in existence; it has been designed so that it can be used by any nation or group of nations without reference to security caveats or restrictions. Of course this was always the intent, to provide a tool that could be used to facilitate and enhance multinational cooperation and mutual understanding while ensuring that military forces are in compliance with national security and policy concerns.

As the political control on the use of force and with that the use of rules of engagement to regulate the conduct of armed forces by individual nations, alliances and coalitions around the world continues to grow, so too the need to be able to train on and understand rules of engagement similarly gains importance. It is essential that a clear understanding exists that whilst rules of engagement are often a mix of military and political policy requirements, these must be bounded by extant international and domestic legal parameters. Such legal constraints may never be exceeded, but are quite often restricted further by the effect of rules of engagement. Too often national or multinational security classifications mean that the publication and sharing of rules of engagement experience and best practice is problematic. The ability for militaries to share their experiences as well as for academics, students and the public to consider the subject is critical in order to promote awareness of the practical implementation of International Humanitarian Law through rules of engagement.

Online Book Beyond Market Forces Regulating the Global Security Industry

The International Peace Institute has published a study on the regulation of private security firms and private militias.

Beyond Market Forces Regulating the Global Security Industry

James Cockayne with Emily Speers Mears, Iveta Cherneva, Alison Gurin, Sheila Oviedo, and Dylan Yaeger

Private military and security companies play an increasingly visible role in conflict and post-conflict situations. Properly regulated, they may offer efficient and responsive means for governments to deliver security in insecure environments. But well-publicized abuses suggest that an adequate regulatory framework is urgently needed.

Beyond Market Forces surveys the existing state of national, international, and corporate-level regulation of this industry, including more than forty Codes of Conduct. It provides thirty case studies looking at frameworks for implementing and enforcing industry standards in other global industries such as the extractive, textile and apparel, toy, toxic waste, financial, sporting, chemical, and even veterinary industries. And it draws lessons from these industries specifically for the global security industry, identifying five different types of implementation and enforcement framework that the industry could consider: a watchdog, an accreditation scheme, an arbitral tribunal, a harmonization scheme, and a ‘club’