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The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the international legal framework governing urban crises arising from conflict, “natural” and…
The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the international legal framework governing urban crises arising from conflict, “natural” and technological disasters.
The paper deploys legal analysis to the most relevant bodies of international law pertaining to urban crises and systematically outlines the key legal issues arising.
International humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) provide important protections to vulnerable persons in both human-made and “natural” disaster settings. While the two bodies of law do not draw explicit distinctions between urban and rural settings, their various provisions, and indeed their silence on, crucial issues that would enhance legal protection in urban settings merit greater attention.
The paper provides an overview of the sources of international law of most relevance to urban crises. Further research is required into how the urban environment influences their application concretely in urban settings.
In an era when international law is being challenged from many sources and attention is turning to the increasing potential for urban violence and vulnerability, this paper serves to sensitise the disaster management and humanitarian community to the relevance of international legal frameworks to its activities in urban settings.
This paper considers the most salient international legal issues arising during crises and compares and contrasts how the different bodies of international law (IHL and IHRL) address each of the kinds of crises (conflict, “natural” or technological disaster), respectively.
I intend to provide an understanding of the possibilities that exist for the judgment of wartime rape at the international, domestic and in-between levels.
What is required is an examination of prosecutions and judgments of the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), the ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda), the SCSL (Special Court for Sierra Leone) and the ICC (International Criminal Court). I employ an international law and gender studies approach.
To count as a crime against humanity, war rape must have been committed as part of a widespread attack on a civilian population. This reflects the idea that war rape is not based solely in the violation of a woman’s body. The problem is that war rapes occur absent the explicit purpose to destroy a community. This chapter provides insight to the historical background of wartime rape to scholars, feminist legal theorists, sociologists, NGOs and lawyers.
By alerting us to the fact that the international community appears to elevate violations of groups or communities over the violation of individual women during conflict, the chapter suggests that the human rights of women may not be fully protected.
During the four years of preliminary meetings that led to the 1977 Protocols Additional I and II governing internal armed conflict, the prohibitions against superfluous…
During the four years of preliminary meetings that led to the 1977 Protocols Additional I and II governing internal armed conflict, the prohibitions against superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering – two concepts that gird the regulation and moderation of war and limit the use of certain means and methods of warfare – were invoked as a means of calling into account the actions of imperial states. These meetings took place in the context of the conflicts in Southeast Asia, following the wars of decolonization and national liberation in the 1950s and 1960s. The participants in these meetings were freedom fighters and liberation movements who used this forum, which was open to them for the first time, to push for a wider understanding of the concepts of superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering. Their intention was to hold imperialism and imperial states accountable for suffering and injury beyond that of physical death or wounding and to recognize the violence of colonization and the social and cultural devastation it brought. These interventions were a critical attempt to broaden and deepen the meaning of the laws of war, to make them responsive to more than established sovereign state violence, and to ensure that they reflected the experience of colonization/decolonization. This episode matters because the prohibitions against unnecessary suffering and superfluous injury are two elements that detail the general prohibition first codified in 1907 Hague Convention IV, Article 22, namely that the “the right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited.” However, the history and formulation of these two concepts has yet to be fully explored, the meaning of each is debated, and taken together the two are among “the most unclear and controversial rules of warfare.”
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the current limitations in compensating the civilian victims of armed conflicts and to examine the possibility of…
Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the current limitations in compensating the civilian victims of armed conflicts and to examine the possibility of extending this practice.
Methodology/approach – The first half of the chapter employs legal and political analysis of the current framework of international law and the practice of the United States. The latter half of the chapter examines the literature on theory of liability in economics and philosophy.
Findings – The framework of international law, which does not require compensation for the victims of lawful attacks, is increasingly at odds with the current trend in which military force is used by a powerful state against a much weaker state on the grounds that the local population would benefit from the operation. The system developed by the United States is the most extensive and can form a model for other states and international institutions. Keating's analysis of enterprise liability can be applied to compensation of victims in military operations that are deemed to be beneficial to the population. Economic analysis, on contrary, suggests that compensation of civilian victims has minimal effect on the level of risks.
Originality/value – This chapter makes a unique contribution by applying theory of liability to a situation that widely diverges from the context in which the theory has developed. It critically examines the current practice and proposes a morally preferable and economically sustainable alternative model.
Sexual abuse of women during armed conflict has always been taken for granted; in modern times, it is still viewed as a regrettable part of war. History books have brought forward vivid images of women in chains in or behind chariots as spoils of war. Rape was not considered a crime, but an inevitable ‘collateral damage’ to part of the population solely because of their gender. Since women were considered property, they were automatically viewed as the prize of victory. Historians have traced attempts to regulate rape in war in earlier centuries, but even if such an initiative was taken, it had little impact upon actions. Only recently with emphasis on human rights and progress in equating women's rights with men's human rights have there been serious efforts to come to grips with bringing to justice those who committed mass rape during armed conflicts. Though there was evidence of widespread rape during World War II, there were no efforts to find or prosecute the perpetrators during the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan has observed that “gender based harms including rape during conflict have historically been viewed as less serious transgressions than their non-gender equivalents.”
Within the context of an international conference dealing with global challenges, the Atlantic Community and the outlook for international order organized by Webster University, Geneva (Switzerland), to propose an approach to strengthening the international order by reviving the global responsibility to abide by fundamental humanitarian rules.
The twentieth century presented a very disturbing catalog of violations of humanitarian law. In addressing the main question of the conference, namely “What are the true principles of international order today and do we need new rules and organizing principles in the future?”, the author tackles the issue from the international humanitarian law perspective and suggests various instruments (formal and informal) for enhancing the protection of human dignity.
A global responsibility to abide by fundamental humanitarian rules may be revived through positive law and judicial mechanisms, but also through a new respect for human life, a return to universal values found in all civilizations, religions and traditions, and through a new humanitarian order based on the core concept of humanity.
This paper suggests that it is through a combination of existing legal and humanitarian instruments, and not just one, that the international order can be strengthened.