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The ICRC in London

Transatlantic Dialogue on International Law and Armed Conflict : A blog series

In the middle of July, a group of academics and government lawyers gathered for two days at Oxford University to discuss issues related to current challenges pertaining to armed conflict and the applicable law.  Participants came from both sides of the north Atlantic (the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe), and from Israel, to share views on a variety of topics.  

Some of those who attended the workshop are now participating in a series of blog posts focussing on specific topics that were addressed during the workshop, including law at the end of armed conflict, partnered operations and security cooperation, and how rules applicable in international armed conflicts (IACs) could apply to non-international armed conflicts (NIACs). Three blogs, Intercross, the blog of the ICRC delegation in Washington DC, EJIL:Talk!, and Lawfare, are coordinating the series, and hosting the posts. Each blog post supports the author’s perspective, and not necessarily that of anyone else at the workshop, or any of the institutions represented.

You can read the first in the series, by Robert Chesney, over at Lawfare: When does the law of armed conflict cease to apply? 

We'll be publishing links to the rest of the series as posts are published here.  


  • First aid on the frontline United Kingdom: World War One: One hundred images for one hundred years

    August 42014 marks the day, 100 years ago, that Europe went to war. To mark the centenary, we've been posting pictures on Twitter and Storify everyday – 100 in total - from our First World War archives.

  • United Kingdom: Bridging the transatlantic divide - the second annual dialogue on international humanitarian law and armed conflict

    Historic Pembroke College, Oxford was the host of a 2-day workshop last week which brought together academics, government and military lawyers from the UK, US, Canada, continental Europe and Israel. The Transatlantic Dialogue on International Humanitarian Law and Armed Conflict, now in its second year, aimed to stimulate debate and discussion on thorny issues faced by those tasked with putting IHL, also known as the law of armed conflict or law of war, into practice.

  • South Sudan. The men's ward at Bor Hospital. United Kingdom: Conflict poses fundamental obstacle to safe health care, ICRC tells inquiry

    Receiving safe and effective treatment when we are unwell or injured is vital for our health. Yet in times of war and violence, even getting help for common ailments or chronic conditions, not to say severe wounds, can be impossible. The ICRC has told a House of Commons inquiry more must be done to protect millions left without life-saving help when violence erupts.

  • Lebanon: Helping Syrian refugees and host communities

    The arrival of over a million refugees from Syria in Lebanon, a country of four million people, has impacted everything from health care to education. Our head of delegation in Beirut, Fabrizzio Carboni, explains how we are helping host communities and refugees with food assistance, water network repairs and hospital care for wounded coming across the border.

  • Business, violence and conflict: complex solutions for complex environments

    No single organization or State can end business involvement in human rights abuses and humanitarian law violations in conflict zones. That was the conclusion of a panel discussion in London on the value of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) in improving the conduct of firms and their employees working amid violence.

  • ICRC delegate Mark Thomlinson on the road in Jammu. Getting the picture: working as a new detention delegate in India

    In his second diary entry, new delegate Mark Thomlinson explains his detention work for the ICRC. Mark, who is from Britain, visits people detained in connection with the situation in Jammu and Kashmir – this often means those who are accused of having taken up arms in pursuit of an independent or Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The goal of ICRC prison visits worldwide is to ensure those detained are treated with dignity and humanity, have access to family contacts and are subject to due legal process.

  • War, protection and the law: President Peter Maurer on challenges the ICRC faces

    The ICRC wants greater respect for existing laws of war and gaps filled in existing laws which leave civilians, the sick and the wounded vulnerable at times of conflict. Those were the core concerns raised by ICRC President Peter Maurer in a speech in London on the state of international humanitarian law.

  • United Kingdom: Crash course in law of armed conflict for Muslim NGOs

    Practical dilemmas and the universal relevance of the law governing armed conflict were at the forefront of a 2-day workshop for Muslim NGOs organized by the ICRC, Muslim Charities Forum and the British Red Cross.

  • Northern Ireland: In and out of trouble

    Street violence, intimidation and sectarian tension still mar the lives of young people across Northern Ireland, despite ceasefires and a peace agreement that ended large-scale conflict.

  • Northern Ireland: Time to choose

    Paramilitary groups still exert a strong grip over some communities in Northern Ireland. They attack or exile young people as punishment for alleged crimes, particularly in Republican areas where local people prefer not to deal with the police.


Events in the UK and Ireland

Is there still a place for impartial humanitarianism?

4 September 2014, 6-7pm, Chatham House, London. Speaker: Yves Daccord, Director-General, ICRC.

Cambridge UK: British Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Summer School

14 - 17 September 2014, Madgalene College, Cambridge. The British Red Cross will hold its biennial Summer School on International Humanitarian Law in September 2014.  This residential course is aimed at people with a professional interest in the practical application of IHL.

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