SWIRMO 2008 - Senior Workshop on International Rules Governing Military Operations
Online forum - only for registered workshop participants
The workshop activities will be divided between instruction in Les Vernets Barracks, Geneva for the first week and the Swiss army training centre at Stans (near Lucern) for the second week where the focus will be on integrating rules into military doctrine and operating procedures.
Fifty-six senior officers drawn from all over the world with operational, legal or training backgrounds and experience attended this first two-week workshop. The SWIRMO was conducted in five classes held in three languages. It was led by class leaders, all of whom were serving officers, with a broad experience of training the law of armed conflict. In the first week, the workshop focussed on identifying the legal situations and the applicable rules; and, in the second, examined how better to integrate the law into current military operations and training. The methodology throughout the workshop was a short presentation on a given topic followed by a scenario based exercise and discussion. A field day with the Swiss Armed Forces brought together aspects of the workshop in a more practical way.
This first workshop proved a most successful forum from which to demonstrate the importance and relevance of the law of armed conflict and applicable human rights law as the necessary legal framework for the conduct of military operations undertaken in a range of different situations. Additionally, the workshop's focus helped to reinforce the need to have all the legal principles and rules well integrated into military doctrine, education and training as a solid basis for any operations in the field. The international mix of participants, the methodology of lectures, classroom exercises and discussions, along with the practical demonstrations by the Swiss Armed Forces, allowed the participants to share and learn from each other's experiences and greatly contributed to the SWIRMO's overall success.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss Armed Forces look forward to welcoming all participants to Switzerland for this event.