Climate JusticeSymposium

Judging climate change obligations: Can the World Court rise to the occasion?

Part II: What role for international adjudication?

In Part I of this post, we sought to identify the core rules of international environmental law that needed evolution and clarification for a claim relating to climate change to succeed. We now turn to how international adjudication might help to achieve genuine legal change. The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been at the centre of the UN’s various initiatives on the issue, and at the …

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Climate JusticeSymposium

Judging climate change obligations: Can the World Court rise to the occasion?

Part I: Primary obligations to combat climate change

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic piles crisis atop crisis. As confirmed infection rates cross 2.5 million and attributed deaths pass 170,000 (at time of writing, in April 2020), it is increasingly being accepted that biodiversity loss has reduced the resilience of natural systems when faced with the emergence of new diseases. At the same time, ever closer contact between humans and animals (through intensive farming, habitat encroachment and other factors) has increased …

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DiscussionKick-off

Blackmarketing “Bundeswehr” Weapons in Northern Iraq

Applying a Due Diligence Approach to Arms Transfers?

In September 2014, the German army started shipping weapons from its own stocks to the security forces of the Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Iraq (Peshmerga) to support the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh). Strong reservations arguing that these weapons might end up in the wrong hands and likely be used to commit human rights violations were voiced, especially considering …

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DiscussionResponse

Is civilian harm tracking a sensible idea?

A response to Ellen Policinski Ellen Policinski makes a persuasive case for the more widespread and systematic employment of civilian harm tracking. Let me tackle the matter from a different angle. The AP I article 57(1) obligation to take constant care would seem, on any sensible interpretation, to imply a requirement to identify what is causing any level of incidental civilian harm, not just excessive civilian harm, during military operations. …

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DiscussionKick-off

Civilian Harm Tracking: An Important Tool During Armed Conflict

Civilian harm is a tragic consequence of armed conflict. Incidental civilian harm – or collateral damage – is prevalent in modern conflicts, which often involve armed groups operating from within the population. Recent examples include operations in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and the Gaza Strip. The emerging practice of civilian harm tracking is one tool that parties to armed conflict can use to better understand and address this tragic consequence …

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DiscussionResponse

Pebble in the shoe or elephant in the room?

A Response to the post by Adrian Di Giovanni In his post, Adrian Di Giovanni drew our attention to the notion of Do No Harm, focusing on the context of humanitarian assistance. He observes the increase in relying on or at least mentioning this concept on the international level and rightly asks the question what the meaning could be in a more specific sense. I would like to add to …

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DiscussionKick-off

A Pebble in the Shoe

Assessing International Uses of Do No Harm

My paper published in the last edition of ‘Law and Politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America’ (VRU) is the product of bureaucratic wanderings. Over a number of years, in a meetings on a variety of international topics, I repeatedly heard the same phrase being uttered: “we take a Do No Harm approach.” At first blush, those words had an immediate appeal. Doctors have followed that principle for centuries (primum …

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