Belgium’s Interministerial Commission for Humanitarian Law: Playing a key role in the implementation and promotion of IHL

The Belgian Interministerial Commission for Humanitarian Law was created in 1987 for the purpose of identifying and coordinating national measures for implementing the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, which Belgium had just ratified. In the first part of this article, the authors describe the Commission's background, composition, missions and structure. They then explain how, through its work, the Commission helps incorporate the rules of international humanitarian law into domestic law, disseminate these rules and promote compliance with them. In the final part of the article, the authors highlight the key factors underpinning the Commission's success in achieving its missions.

Keywords: national committee, international humanitarian law, implementation, dissemination, promotion, development, national measures, Belgium.

About the authors

Frédéric Casier
Legal advisor

Frédéric Casier is a legal advisor in international humanitarian law at the headquarters of the Belgian Red Cross Frenchspeaking community. He has represented this organization on the Belgian Interministerial Commission for Humanitarian Law since 2005.

Alix Janssens

Alix Janssens studied law at the Universite Catholique de Louvain and earned an LL.M in Public International Law at the University of Amsterdam before carrying out an internship at the Belgian Interministerial Commission for Humanitarian Law.