The Paris attacks of Friday 13 November 2015 that killed 130 people and injured hundreds more, and the attacks in Beirut the day before, shook the whole world for their audacity, high number of victims and the calculated manner in which they were carried out.
French President Francois Hollande declared the attacks an ‘act of war’ that had to be addressed as such, noting they were the deadliest attacks in France since World War II. But declaring war on terrorists begs a number of troubling questions.
If Islamic State or ‘Daesh’ terrorists launched a ‘war’ on France, does that imply that both parties are bound by the Geneva Conventions and that terrorists enjoy the rights of lawful combatants? Or are terrorists simply criminals which armed forces can target and execute lawfully in Syria and Iraq? What about Boko Haram? Or rampaging militia in the Central African Republic, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo? Or extreme violence in Mexico, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, Pakistan or Somalia?
Dr. Lyal S. Sunga asks whether international law can meet the challenges of today’s lawless conflicts and considers the options from the perspectives of human rights, humanitarian law and criminal justice. Dr. Sunga, Head of the Rule of Law program at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, and Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Sweden, has conducted monitoring, investigation, reporting, technical cooperation, training and teaching in some 55 countries over the last 25 years in human rights, humanitarian law and international criminal law.
“Can International Law Meet the Challenges of Today’s Lawless Conflicts?” Lecture by HILAC and T.M.C. Asser Instituut on March 17th. Registration is not needed. Seats are available on a first-come first-served basis.
Speaker: Dr. Lyal S. Sunga, Head, Rule of Law Program, The Hague Institute for Global Justice and Visiting Professor, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
March 17 March, at 19:00h
Venue: T.M.C. Asser Instituut – R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22 , The Hague
Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut, Amsterdam Center for International Law and Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis in cooperation with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague