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Advocates and opponents of humanitarian intervention From the 1860s onwards, international law became an academic discipline in its own right in Europe and the Americas, taught separately from philosophy, natural law or civil law, and came to be written by professional academics or theoretically inclined diplomats. 1 Until then what existed was the droit public de l’Europe or ‘external public law’. Britain in particular had to

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

twentieth century ’, the director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in 1999 ( Tauxe, 1999 ; emphasis added). With the launch of the ‘War on Terror’ following the 9/11 attacks, violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) have been described as ‘increasingly serious’, culminating – at the time of writing – in systematic attacks on hospitals and other civilian sites in Syria. Similar attacks in Afghanistan, Yemen and South Sudan add to the picture of once respected IHL being trampled. Some offer numbers as evidence, citing the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Editor’s Introduction

enabling operations and facilitating access to populations to protecting the organisation from legal or reputational risks. All the contributions demonstrate that a reliance on international humanitarian law (IHL) and humanitarian principles to ensure the security of humanitarian teams and projects might well be unfounded. Rony Brauman offers his own historical perspective, challenging the idea of humanitarian exceptionalism and the protective function of IHL and principles. The last article exemplifies the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

, which justifies additional measures for staff on the basis of the services they provide for others, sits uncomfortably with the principle of humanity, according to which ‘human value is based on life not utility’ ( Slim, 2015 : 56). Legal Frameworks Differences in legal status do not offer a convincing explanation of differences in security/protection strategy. International law does offer additional protections to specific categories of humanitarian staff under certain conditions, but for many agencies and their staff international law affords no protection beyond

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

that the major Western powers have been complicit in creating (think Vietnam, Congo, Cambodia, Iraq, Syria, to name just a few). All of which confronts humanitarians with an existential choice. How might they function in a world which doesn’t have liberal institutions at its core? Human rights activists struggle given they rely on broad international agreement – treaties, customary law, courts, Western foreign-policy support – to do their work. Is humanitarianism any different? The version of global humanitarianism with which we are familiar might not

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse

Europe is extremely political. It points to existing maritime law and international humanitarian law to remind states of their obligations. And what’s really interesting since the end of June is that we have ended up in a situation in which rogue European states are deliberately throwing the law to the dogs. Now we know exactly what’s going on in Libya. We know that European states are responsible for refoulement , sending people back to torture, rape and detention in Libya. This is completely unlawful but European institutions are endorsing it. So

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Introduction Every year, dozens of national and international aid workers are kidnapped. Like governments and companies, most humanitarian organisations handle these events with the utmost secrecy. While Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), for example, publicly confirmed the abduction and release of staff members kidnapped in Kenya in 2011 and Syria in 2014, 1 the organisation made no effort to mobilise public opinion as a way to gain their freedom. Nor did it provide any official details about the circumstances, detention conditions, kidnappers or their demands

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

there are also steps that researchers, journalists and humanitarians can take. The first priority is further research. Although fake news has dominated public debate, conference programming and presidential tweets for some time, we have relatively little empirical data about its reach or impact. A number of countries have decided to introduce new laws without this evidence base to stifle what they define as fake news. The Malaysian government, for example, introduced legislation banning ‘news, information, data and reports which is or are

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

departure preparations for international volunteers, and the first security booklet was developed. The module and the booklet explained the risks that volunteers might face, measures to reduce them, responsibilities and procedures for sharing security information within projects and the organisation as a whole, and rules for behaviour. During that same period, in the late 1990s, the first country-specific security plans were drawn up; with each violent incident affecting the organisation and other humanitarian actors, security management took shape. Compared to other

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs