Some controversies of detention in multinational operations and the contributions of the Copenhagen Principles

This paper discusses three main areas of controversy relating to detention in the context of multinational operations: the relationship between international humanitarian law and human rights law; the principle of legality in the context of relying on United Nations Security Council resolutions as a justification for taking detainees; and the transfer of detainees where there is, for example, a substantial risk of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The paper then considers how the Copenhagen Principles address these issues.

Keywords: detention, Copenhagen Principles, international humanitarian law, IHL, international human rights law, IHRL, the principle of legality, Security Council resolutions, transfers of detainees, monitoring the treatment of detainees.

About the author

Bruce ‘Ossie’ Oswald
Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School

Bruce ‘Ossie’ Oswald is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School. He wrote this paper while holding a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship at the United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C