The roundtable will focus on the assessment of the relationship between the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and general international law

Expert roundtable on international humanitarian law to be hosted at Exeter Law School on 22-23 September 2016

Exeter Law School will host an expert roundtable in collaboration with the University of Reading to explore the impact of the law of armed conflict on general international law.

The roundtable will focus on the assessment of the relationship between the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and general international law. The speakers will include Prof. Michael N. Schmitt (Exeter and US Naval War College), Prof. Francoise Hampson (Essex), Prof. Charles Garraway (Essex) and Ms. Elvina Pothelet (ICRC). The roundtable is co-organized by Dr Kubo Mačák (Exeter) and Dr. Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne (Reading). 

As one of the oldest substantive areas of international law, the law of armed conflict (LOAC) has played an important part in the development of general international law principles that now apply equally in other areas. For example, the evolution of the rules on State responsibility for the conduct of individuals can in part be traced to the development of rules attributing responsibility for violations of LOAC perpetrated by armed groups. This strong relationship between LOAC and general international law, however, has more recently come under strain as a result of more general concerns over the 'fragmentation™' of international law, whereby substantive areas of law, including LOAC, have become divorced from general international law. It has been suggested, for example, that it is time to move away from traditional approaches to international law-making in order to ensure that LOAC remains effective at regulating contemporary conflicts. This is illustrated by claims that customary rules of LOAC, in contrast to customary international law more generally, should take account of the practice not only of States but also armed groups. In light of these conflicting perspectives, an assessment of the relationship between LOAC and general international law is both apposite and necessary.  

After the roundtable, the organizers intend to publish selected papers, following their development in light of the discussion, in an edited, peer-reviewed collection. The publication will provide a systematic and comprehensive examination of the impact of the law of armed conflict on general international law.

Date: 14 September 2016

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