Cordula Droege

Head of the Operational Law Unit, Legal Division, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)


  • Get off my cloud: cyber warfare, international humanitarian law, and the protection of civilians

    The potential humanitarian impact of some cyber operations on the civilian population is enormous. This article seeks to address some of the questions that arise when applying international humanitarian law – a body of law that was drafted with traditional kinetic warfare in mind – to cyber technology.

  • Transfers of detainees – legal framework, non-refoulement and contemporary challenges

    The article outlines the legal framework that governs transfers of individuals, and in particular the international law principle of non-refoulement and other obstacles to transfers. The author addresses some of the new legal and practical challenges arising in detention and transfers in the context of multinational operations abroad and analyses the contemporary practice of transfer agreements.

  • Elective affinities? Human rights and humanitarian law

    Complementarity and mutual influence inform the interaction between international humanitarian law and international human rights law in most cases. In some cases when there is contradiction between the two bodies of law, the more specific norm takes precedence ("lex specialis"). The author analyses the question of in which situations either body of law is more specific. She also considers the procedural dimension of this interplay, in particular concerning the rules governing investigations into alleged violations, court access for alleged victims and reparations for wrongdoing.

  • "In truth the leitmotiv": the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in international humanitarian law

    The principle of humane treatment, as Jean Pictet wrote in 1958, is in truth the leitmotiv of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. It includes the prohibition of torture, cruel or inhuman treatment and outrages upon personal dignity. This article examines the interpretation of these notions by referring to the existing instruments and jurisprudence on the prohibition of ill-treatment.