On 8 May 2019, the ICRC with the University of the Philippines (UP) co-hosted in Manila the first meeting of the Board of Experts for the 'new and improved' Asia-Pacific Journal on International Humanitarian Law (APJIHL).
Nine IHL experts from universities across Asia-Pacific (Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Thailand), along with Filipino Judge Raul Pangalangan of the International Criminal Court, participated either in-person or through Skype. Ellen Policinski, the managing editor of the International Review of the Red Cross, also participated in the meeting and shared advice via Skype.
(L-R) UP Institute of International Legal Studies Director Prof. Rommel Casis, UP College of Law Dean Fides Cordero-Tan, ICRC Deputy Head of Delegation Boris Kelecevic and ICRC Head of Legal Department Katerina Kappos
The joint ICRC-University of the Philippines (UP) initiative is a revision of the previous Asia-Pacific Yearbook of IHL, which was published from 2005-2017. There is currently no dedicated IHL journal for the region.
"We are looking forward to working with the ICRC in producing a journal that promotes IHL scholarship in the region," said Professor Rommel Casis, who is leading the project for UP.
Based on the Board's discussions, it was confirmed that the APJIHL will be published annually, with the first issue around May 2020. The first edition will cover general topics of IHL, with the possibility that future issues will be themed.
Contributors must either come from the Asia-Pacific, or their submissions must address issues related to the region. The journal will be peer-reviewed and freely available online, accompanied by a small hard-copy print run. The call for papers will be issued in the coming month.
At the close of the meeting, participants received an operational update from Deputy Head of Delegation Boris Kelecevic outlining the ICRC's activities in the Philippines.