Focus:International Humanitarian Law

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International Humanitarian Law
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Inhaltsverzeichnis


If the new and frightful weapons of destruction, which are now at the disposal of the nations, seem destined to abridge the duration of future wars, it appears likely, on the other hand, that future battles will only become more and more murderous." (...) "Would it not be possible, in time of peace and quiet, to form relief societies for the purpose of having care given to the wounded in wartime by zealous, devoted and thoroughly qualified volunteers?
Henri Dunant, A Memory of Solferino (1862)

Introduction

IHL University Courses

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Course description
This course is designed to provide you with an understanding of contemporary problems of international humanitarian law and the related regime of human rights law.
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Feedback for Participants
We want to know what you did like - and what should be better. Write away and give us your feedback!
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Vienna University Course List
- LV International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
(Uni Wien, 2011) - NEW -
- LV International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
(Uni Wien, 2010)
- LV Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law
(Uni Wien 2008)

Activities and Direct Action

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Support NGOs
NGOs working in the field of IHL need continuous support. If you want to help, support them by donating time and/or money. ReliefWeb (http://www.reliefweb.int/) provides a comprehensive Directory of Humanitarian Organisations. Here a short list of some NGOs in the field (doc).
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Charity Run
We have decided to run the London Marathon 2011 in full Dr. Who Dalek fancy dress in aid of the International Medical Corps. Support us by donating to the International Medical Corps. More information on the Facebook-Group.


Scope of Application of IHL

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Coursework
Please prepare the following questions and cases:

Questions

  1. What is IHL?
  2. When is the application of IHL triggered and when does it end?
  3. What is the relationship between IHL and human rights law?
  4. What is the distinction between jus ad bellum and jus in bello and why is it relevant?

Cases

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Readings
Please prepare all readings before the relevant session.

Compulsory readings:

Compulsory materials:

Optional readings:

Protection of Persons in Armed Conflict

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Coursework
Please prepare the following questions and cases:

Questions:

  1. What minimum guarantees of protection must be afforded to all individuals in armed conflicts without distinction? What is their relationship to human rights law?
  2. What are combatants/civilians/Prisoners of War (POWs)? What is the relevance of the distinction between combatants and civilians in international armed conflict? Why is there no combatant status in non-international armed conflict?
  3. How are POWs protected under Geneva Convention III?
  4. How are civilians protected under Geneva Convention IV and may a State party derogate from certain protections?
  5. What are the rules to clarify cases where combatant status is doubtful?
  6. Which rules are applicable to detainees in non-international armed conflict?
  7. What challenges to the regime of protection of persons have occurred through the U.S. “War on Terror”?

Cases

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Readings
Please prepare all readings before the relevant session.

Compulsory readings:

Compulsory materials:

  • 1949 Geneva Conventions III, IV; 1977 Additional Protocol I, 1977 Additional Protocol II.
  • 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • 1984 Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/pdf/cat.pdf.

Further reading:

  • Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, US Supreme Court, Judgement of 29 June 2006,

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/05pdf/05-184.pdf

  • In Re: Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation, Obama Administration Memorandum Regarding the Government´s Detention Authority Relative to Detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 13 March 2009, http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/memo-re-det-auth.pdf

Prohibited Means and Methods of Combat

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Coursework
Please prepare the following questions and cases:

Questions:

  1. What are the basic rules on prohibited methods and means of combat and where are they enshrined?
  2. What are military objectives, what are civilian objects?
  3. How are the rules of distinction, discrimination and proportionality to be implemented under IHL?
  4. What are the problems associated with the use of cluster munitions under IHL?
  5. What restrictions and prohibitions on weapons are contained under the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Protocols? Does Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War speak to the issue of cluster munitions? If yes, are the provisions adequate to address all concerns associated with cluster munitions?
  6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions?

Cases:

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Readings
Please prepare all readings before the relevant session.

Compulsory readings:

Compulsory materials:


Further readings and materials:


Further websites on cluster munitions:

Implementation and Enforcement of IHL

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Coursework
Please prepare the following questions and cases:

Questions:

  1. What measures of implementation of IHL are foreseen by the most important conventions of IHL, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols? What are “grave breaches”?
  2. What are “war crimes”?
  3. What is “international criminal law”? What are “crimes against humanity” and “genocide”?
  4. How do the ICTY and ICTR differ from the ICC (establishment, jurisdiction, conflict between national and international tribunal)?

Cases

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Readings
Please prepare all readings before the relevant session.

Compulsory readings:


Compulsory materials:

  • 1949 Geneva Conventions, 1977 Additional Protocol I;

Further readings and materials:

Specific problems

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Coursework
Please prepare the following cases:
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Readings
Please prepare all readings before the relevant session.

Further readings and materials:

Humanitarian Assistance - the Role of the ICRC

This is going to be a special session with a guest speaker of the Austrian Red Cross, Mag.ª MARTINA SCHLOFFER. Martina Schloffer has extensive field experience in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including in Iraq, Eritrea and Sri Lanka where she served in various capacities. She is currently Head of the Department of International Disaster Management at the Austrian Red Cross. After an introduction on my part on the legal bases of the work on the ICRC and emblem issues, Martina Schloffer will provide you with a practical perspective on the work of the ICRC in the field, including detention visits and family reunification in an interactive presentation.

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Readings
Please prepare all readings before the relevant session.

Compulsory readings:


Further readings and materials:


Materials and Information

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Information on Materials
Materials will be added as the course proceeds (e.g. Powerpoint Files .ppt). Files are compressed with WinZip / 7zip. Uncompress files first.
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- Materials 2011
- Materials 2010
- Materials 2008
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Cluster Bombs
Cluster Bomb Videos and Links.


Bibliography

Monographs and Essay Collections


Relevant Journals


Relevant Websites

Focus

Ressources

International Institutions

Tribunals

International NGOs




HILF MIT !!!
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