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.

Research Team

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

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

Portrait of Cielo Linares News

Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict: What Participants Say

7 March 2024

As a Researcher at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in Colombia, Cielo Linares supports ICTJ’s work with Colombia’s Truth Commission and Special Jurisdiction for Peace, focusing on restorative justice, memory, prevention and reparation. In this interview, she tells about programme and what it brings to her career.

Read more

Panel panel ‘(Dis)respecting International Humanitarian Law in today’s armed conflicts: monitoring and reporting’ at the 2024 European Humanitarian Forum News

IHL in Focus Featured at the 2024 European Humanitarian Forum

25 March 2024

Our new research project IHL in Focus – launched at the beginning of the year – has been presented and discussed at the 2024 European Humanitarian Forum, a major yearly event convened by the European Union focusing on prominent humanitarian issues and challenges.

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

Neutrotechology Project

Neurotechnology and Human Rights

Started in August 2023

This project addresses the human rights implications stemming from the development of neurotechnology for commercial, non-therapeutic ends, and is based on a partnership between the Geneva Academy, the Geneva University Neurocentre and the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. 

Read more

Cover of Report Publication

Artificial Intelligence And Related Technologies In Military Decision-Making On The Use Of Force In Armed Conflicts: Current Developments And Potential Implications

published on May 2024

Anna Rosalie Greipl, Neil Davison, Georgia Hinds

Read more