The workshops bring together senior scholars and practitioners from North America and Europe to exchange views on challenging topics in the field of international humanitarian law.

Professor Schmitt attended the Transatlantic International Law and Armed Conflict Workshop at Oxford University

Professor Schmitt attended the the 4th Annual Transatlantic International Law and Armed Conflict Workshop at Oxford University in late July.  The workshops are co-organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Oxford University, the University of Texas, and South Texas School of Law. 

They bring together a small, select group of senior scholars and practitioners from North America and Europe to exchange views on challenging topics in the field of international humanitarian law.

The first day began with a discussion of the targeting of war sustaining activities, such as ISIS oil production and transportation.  It then moved on to consider the principle of proportionality in targeting law.  The day concluded with an examination of the procedural regulation of detention during both international and non-international armed conflicts. On day two, the participants discussed the obligation to investigate IHL violations, fair trial guarantees in armed conflict, and the role and utilization of legal advisers.

Professor Schmitt spoke on the principle of proportionality.  In part, he argued that despite the centrality of the principle during armed conflict, as a practical matter the requirement to take precautions in attack to minimize civilian harm tends to loom larger in modern warfare. He noted that this situation might change should large scale state-on-state conflict occur, rather than the counter-insurgencies that are more prevalent today.

Date: 17 August 2016

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