The new edition of the ICRC Newsletter on Humanitarian Law and Policy is out!
ICRC Law & Policy Newsletter

The international forum for exchange and dialogue on humanitarian law, policy and action

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This month's highlight

Launch of the first
ICRC Research and Debate Cycle

The conference cycle "New Technologies and the Modern Battlespace: Humanitarian Perspectives" is currently taking place in Geneva and beyond. From March to June 2014, several public events are being organized at the Humanitarium conference centre in Geneva and elsewhere, with a view to addressing the novel humanitarian, legal and ethical challenges posed by new technologies. Throughout the Cycle, this page will keep you informed of upcoming events, podcasts, interviews and reference documents. Scroll down for more.

Research & Debate Cycle

Internet in Bello: IHL and Cyber Operations
The panel will aim at giving an overview of the recent debates concerning the applicability and application of IHL rules on the conduct of hostilities to cyber operations. In addition, the panel will try and explore the actual dangers posed by cyber operations beyond what has often remained mere speculation.
Find out more

New Technologies and Warfare
Held on 25 March 2014, this panel discussion marked the inauguration of the Cycle. Six legal experts and practitioners presented ethical, legal, scientific, and military issues that new technologies raise for International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and action, and which the subsequent events will strive to answer.
Watch the whole conference here.
Autonomous Weaponry and Armed Conflict
Held on 10 April 2014 during the joint American Society of International Law (ASIL) and the International Law Association (ILA) Conference (Washington, DC), this panel looked at the challenges posed by increasingly autonomous weapon systems.
Watch the whole conference here.
New Warfare Technologies, New Protection Challenges
This webcast, produced by Harvard University in partnership with the International Review of the Red Cross and originally broadcast on April 24, 2014, explores contemporary technological developments and the resulting challenges that emerge for humanitarian protection.
Listen to the webcast here.
Authors' Interviews Series
What are nanotechnologies? What are their civilian and military uses? How are they going to influence international humanitarian law? Should we restrict military use? Professor Hitoshi Nasu (Australian National University) gives his take on the application of international humanitarian law to nanotechnologies.
Watch the interview here.

If you missed it...

Education in Armed Conflict
On 14 March 2014, the ICRC, the Geneva Academy and Protecting Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) hosted the joint conference  “Promoting and Protecting Education in Situations of Armed Conflict” at ICRC's Humanitarium conference hall in Geneva. The seven invited specialists explored the complex impacts that armed conflict has on access to education, as well as how the latter is protected under international law.
Watch the whole conference here
Dialogue with Non-State Actors
On 18 December 2013, Dr Gérard Chaliand and three other specialists discussed the issue of humanitarian dialogue with non-state armed groups, focusing on the impact of geopolitical challenges in the contexts of the Middle East and South Asia.
Listen to the podcast here.
Browse the event's page for a summary of key points and more. 

Customary IHL Database

Update of the ICRC's free online database
The ICRC's free online Customary IHL database has been updated with State practices of 7 countries (Armenia, Brazil, Cuba, El Salvador, Georgia, Nepal and New Zealand) and 3 tribunals (the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice). The update relates to issues such as the principle of distinction, the use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, the protection of internally displaced persons, the protection of children, recruitment and use of child soldiers in hostilities, sexual violence and slavery, the integration of IHL into the training and operations of armed forces and the prosecution of war crimes. 
Find out more about the database
Free online access

New Publications

International Review of the Red Cross: "Violence Against Health Care" (Vol. I & II)
In these issues, the Review brings together operational, legal, and ethical perspectives on Violence against Health Care, making it possible to illustrate the humanitarian problem by presenting the results of several case studies from the field. These articles also offer a review of the relevant legal and ethical frameworks and outline different solutions at the legal, operational and policy level. Some articles are already available on the Cambridge University Press website. Both volumes are expected to be available for free on the Review website by the end of May 2014.
A New Tool for the Military
The Handbook on International Rules governing Military Operations highlights the most important elements of the international law governing military operations and places them in a practical, operational context. It is intended to facilitate the law’s application by all armed forces and to assist commanders in their task of integrating it into military strategy, operations and tactics.
Free online access
To Serve and Protect
For the past 20 years, the manual To Serve and To Protect has provided guidance for the dialogue between police and security forces and the ICRC. This updated version takes that successful endeavour a step further, using recent experience to explain the international rules and standards applicable to the law enforcement function and their practical implications for law enforcement work.
Policing: Rules and Standards
A practical tool in the dialogue between ICRC and law enforcement agencies, International Rules and Standards for Policing pinpoints and summarizes the main international rules and standards for policing, which are examined in greater detail in the updated edition of To Serve and to Protect.
Free online access
Decision-Making Process in Military Combat Operations
Directed at commanders, staff officers and military doctrine writers, this practical guidance manual illustrates where and how the application of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) should be integrated into the operational and tactical decision-making process, as well as into operational orders in times of armed conflict. The manual is intended to help decision makers create the necessary conditions for the respect of the law in the conduct of military combat operations.

Upcoming events

International Humanitarian Law Course in Belgium (in French)
This course is targeted at humanitarian professionals in humanitarian assistance and protection who wish to acquire a concrete legal grounding in IHL. This second edition is co-organized by the ICRC and the Belgian Red Cross. It will take place in Harzé (Belgium) on 11-17 May 2014.
Find out more
ENSAYO 2014: South Asian essay writing competition on international humanitarian law
The ENSAYO competition is one of the premier essay writing competitions on International Humanitarian Law. It is organised by the Cenre for Advanced Study in International Law, RGNUL in collaboration with the ICRC, and is open to undergraduate students. The first prize amounts to INR 25,000.
Find out more

Student Competitions

ICRC Supports Student Competitions in IHL
Each year, the ICRC partners with universities and National Societies to organize student competitions in IHL. These may take many forms, such as simulations, role-plays and moot legal courts. This year’s theme is the challenges posed to IHL by new technologies. During the first half of 2014, the ICRC supported four student competitions that allowed students from more than 80 universities worldwide to apply IHL to practical, contemporary humanitarian issues.
Find out more
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