International Humanitarian Law and the United Nations Security Council

Started in January 2020

The past few years have seen an increase in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)’s focus on international humanitarian law (IHL), a trend that started before and goes beyond the 2019 commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. In 2019, the UNSC notably adopted resolutions on missing persons in armed conflict, as well as on the situation of persons with disabilities in armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies (resolutions 2474 and 2475, respectively).

However, contrary to other thematic issues such as the rule of law or individual criminal accountability, little attention has been paid to the consistency – or lack thereof – of the UNSC’s practice in relation to this legal framework. The prevailing discourse on the UNSC's dynamics also often focuses on the organ’s five permanent members to the exclusion of the so-called ‘E10’.

Objectives

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with over 30 experts (scholars, diplomats, as well as representatives of the United Nations, NGOs and relevant international organizations), this project aims at critically assessing how the UNSC has recently dealt with IHL. Drawing from this organ’s practice as well as from identifiable legal and/or political dynamics, it will notably – to the extent possible – formulate recommendations to policy-makers working with this organ to ensure consistency in addressing IHL issues. The project will also particularly focus on the potential roles of the UNSC’s elected members (the above-mentioned ‘E10’).

RESEARCHERS

Portrait of Emilie Max

Émilie Max

Researcher

Émilie Max's research focuses s on the intersection between international humanitarian law and international human rights law

NEWS AND EVENTS

A man enters the room of the UN Security Council News

New Research Project Focuses on How the United Nations Security Council deals with IHL

April 2020

This research will analyse how the UN Security Council has recently dealt with international humanitarian law (IHL) and formulate a series of recommendations to policy-makers working with this organ to ensure consistency in addressing IHL issues.

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Map of the RULAC online portal with the pop-up window showing the NIACs in Mexico. News

Two New Non-International Armed Conflicts in Mexico Involving the Sinaloa Drug Cartel

March 2020

Further research conducted by the RULAC research team highlighted that the level of organization of the Sinaloa Cartel, as well as the intensity of the armed violence between this cartel and both the Mexican armed forces and the CJNG allow classifying these two situations as non-international armed conflicts.

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A man enters the room of the UN Security Council News

New Research Project Focuses on How the United Nations Security Council deals with IHL

April 2020

This research will analyse how the UN Security Council has recently dealt with international humanitarian law (IHL) and formulate a series of recommendations to policy-makers working with this organ to ensure consistency in addressing IHL issues.

Read more

The International Court of Justice in session Short Course

Sources of Public International Law

8 January - February 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, looks at the sources from which public international law rules stem and at the entities that are empowered with the capacity of law-making in the international legal order. It aims at enabling participants to develop a global perception of the international normative system.

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Syria, destroyed building and ambulance Short Course

Basic Principles of International Humanitarian Law

1- October 2020

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, examines the sources of international humanitarian law (IHL). It provides an introduction to the key principles and terminology of IHL.

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Séléka rebels patrol in the town of Bria, Central African Republic (CAR). Project

Human Rights Responsibilities and Armed Non-State Actors

Started in June 2018

This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.

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A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Started in April 2019

Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.

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Cover page of the Annual Report 2019 Publication

Annual Report 2019

published on May 2020

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Cover of the publication Publication

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

published on December 2019

Annyssa Bellal, Pascal Bongard, Ezequiel Heffes

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