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Guantánamo – Joan Fontcuberta

El lunes 4 de marzo a las 17:00 horas tendremos en el seminario de derecho internacional de la Facultad de Derecho de la UAM (Sem DI-UAM) a Nicolas Lamp (London School of Economics), para discutir su artículo “Conceptions of War and Paradigms of Compliance: The ‘New War’ Challenge to International Humanitarian Law”. El artículo ganó en 2012 el premio Francis Lieber, que otorga la American Society of International Law a un trabajo de excelencia sobre el derecho de los conflictos armados. El artículo se puede descargar gratuitamente desde el sitio web del Journal of Conflict & Security Law, en “2012 ASIL Lieber Prize”). La presentación será en inglés, pero se podrá formular preguntas en español, porque Nicolas entiende nuestra lengua. Aquí está el abstract:

The article argues that the so-called ‘new wars’ pose a fundamental challenge to international humanitarian law (IHL). Although not historically new, this type of war differs in crucial respects from the conception of war that underlies the traditional paradigm of compliance of IHL. At the heart of this paradigm lie certain assumptions: that IHL embodies a compromise between the interests of the warring parties and humanitarian concerns, and that the warring parties face a number of incentives to comply with the law. The article argues that these assumptions lose their plausibility under the circumstances of the ‘new wars’. As a result, the traditional enforcement mechanisms of IHL invariably fail in these conflicts. The second part of the article discusses the international legal response to the ‘new wars’. In particular, it considers international criminal prosecutions, the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross and measures by the United Nations Security Council. In the common elements of these measures the article identifies the contours of a new paradigm of compliance in IHL that shifts the emphasis from voluntary compliance to external enforcement.

El manuscrito de mi artículo Jus Cogens and Jurisdictional Immunities of States at the International Court of Justice: A Conflict Does Exist”, que será publicado en el próximamente en el Italian Yearbook of International Law (vol. 21, 2011), ya se puede consultar y descargar desde esta dirección en SSRN. A continuación transcribo el abstract.

In its judgment of 3 February 2012 in Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v Italy: Greece intervening), the International Court of Justice has considered the relationship between jus cogens and the rule of State immunity. The Court has denied the existence of a jus cogens exception to the rule of State jurisdictional immunities based primarily on the distinction between peremptory norms as rules of substance and jurisdictional immunities as rules of procedure. For the Court, a conflict between rules on jurisdictional immunities, “essentially procedural in nature,” and substantive rules of jus cogens is conceptually impossible. This comment presents a critique of the approach and reasoning of the Court regarding the absolute separation between procedural and substantive rules, and supports that a legal conflict may exist between jus cogens and jurisdictional immunities. Moreover, it sustains that the decision of the Court is neither an ideal kind of stability for international law nor an encouraging legal message to national judges dealing with public interest claims arising from serious violations of international law.

Gracias por los comentarios y las críticas.

Por Nicolás Carrillo Santarelli.

A pesar de tener fecha del 2 de marzo del año en curso, la Oficina del Alto Comisionado para los Derechos Humanos emitió un comunicado la semana pasada anunciando la publicación del informe de la Comisión Internacional de Investigación en Libia, en el cual se afirma que las dos principales partes enfrentadas por el poder en Libia cometieron crímenes de guerra y violaciones de derechos humanos.

La anterior afirmación es relevante por múltiples motivos: en primer lugar, reconoce que existen víctimas de diversas partes, lo cual hace necesario protegerlas a todas. Esto, a su vez, supone un reconocimiento de que la dignidad humana, fundamento del derecho internacional de los derechos humanos y de múltiples normas que regulan los conflictos armados, como se manifestó por la CIDH en el asunto Aisalla, pueden ser afectadas por igual por actores con naturaleza estatal o sin ella, lo cual tiene importantes implicaciones: en primer lugar, pone de relieve cómo todo ser humano debe ser protegido por unos mismos actos que pueden impedir el goce de derechos inherentes, siendo el rótulo del agresor lo menos relevante (puede tener ciertos efectos frente a algunas medidas de protección, pero nunca frente al reconocimiento de las violaciones y a la necesidad de protección jurídica). Por otra parte, las conclusiones del informe y su publicación evidencian la creciente superación en algunos eventos de los motivos que invocan algunas críticas que han tenido algunas etapas de la humanización del derecho internacional, especialmente las relativas a la parcialidad o insuficiencia de ciertos mecanismos sancionatorios de violaciones o protectores del ser humano, como aconteció en los juicios de Nüremberg y Tokio tras la segunda guerra mundial, o como se afirma por algunos sucedió con la falta de investigación de presuntos crímenes cometidos por agentes de la OTAN en la antigua Yugoslavia, por ejemplo. Tampoco deben ser ignoradas las críticas a la inmunidad de los agentes de ciertos Estados u organizaciones internacionales por su actividad en conflictos armados, operaciones de mantenimiento de la paz u otras acciones en la actualidad.

Al respecto, es interesante que el informe considere que si bien en muchas ocasiones los ataques de la OTAN evitaron daños a civiles, se presentaron situaciones en las cuales no existió “utilidad militar” en ciertos ataques, y que las muertes de civiles en estos casos deben ser investigadas, especialmente porque la información suministrada por la OTAN no fue suficiente para permitir concluir sobre la legalidad de esos eventos (como digresión, debo decir que estos argumentos muestran la tristeza del DIH, que si bien intenta proteger a las víctimas de los conflictos armados y proteger la dignidad humana, lo hace de manera insuficiente, dada la importancia que se sigue dando a los fines militares, como se discute en el libro “Constraints on the Waging of War”, escrito por Kalshoven y Zegveld).

La nota de prensa sobre el informe y el vínculo al mismo pueden encontrarse en la siguiente dirección: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/LibyaReport.aspx

Finalmente, copio algunos apartados del resumen del informe:

“The Commission conducted its investigations applying the international legal regimes dictated by the situation. It concluded that international crimes, specifically crimes against humanity and war crimes, were committed by Qadhafi forces in Libya. Acts of murder, enforced disappearance, and torture were perpetrated within the context of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population. The Commission found additional violations including unlawful killing, individual acts of torture and ill-treatment, attacks on civilians, and rape.

The Commission further concluded that the thuwar (anti-Qadhafi forces) committed serious violations, including war crimes and breaches of international human rights law, the latter continuing at the time of the present report. The Commission found these violations to include unlawful killing, arbitrary arrest, torture, enforced disappearance, indiscriminate attacks, and pillage. It found in particular that the thuwar are targeting the Tawergha and other communities.

The Commission concluded that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted a highly precise campaign with a demonstrable determination to avoid civilian casualties. On limited occasions, the Commission confirmed civilian casualties and found targets that showed no evidence of military utility. The Commission was unable to draw conclusions in such instances on the basis of the information provided by NATO and recommends further investigations.”

It is a great opportunity. The project is very interesting and the position is based at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law in Cambridge. The closing date for applications is 27 February 2012. Good luck with your applications! Here is the information:

British Red Cross Research Fellow

Location: Cambridge
Salary: Between £25,000 – £27,000 per annum
Contract: Fixed Term Contract until 31st December 2013
Hours: Full Time (35hrs per wk)
Closing Date: Midnight 27 February 2012

Overview

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

This British Red Cross (BRC) is a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement). As such, we work to disseminate knowledge of and to encourage respect for international humanitarian law.  We co-operate closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in these areas.

In January 1995, the Intergovernmental Group of Experts for the Protection of War Victims met in Geneva and adopted a series of recommendations aimed at enhancing respect for international humanitarian law, in particular by means of preventive measures that would ensure better knowledge and more effective implementation of the law.

Recommendation II of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts proposed that:

 The ICRC be invited to prepare, with the assistance of experts in IHL [international humanitarian law] representing various geographical regions and different legal systems, and in consultation with experts from governments and international organisations, a report on customary rules of IHL applicable in international and non-international armed conflicts, and to circulate the report to States and competent international bodies.

In December 1995, the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent endorsed this recommendation and officially mandated the ICRC to prepare a report on customary rules of international humanitarian law applicable in international and non-international armed conflicts.  The outcome of the research carried out pursuant to this mandate was published in 2005 and consists of two volumes. Volume I contains a list of 161 rules deemed to be part of customary law, and commentary thereto, while Volume II contains the supporting material.

Since 2005, Volume I has been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and Turkish. Translations of Volume I into Japanese and Portuguese are expected to be published soon. Although there are no current plans to update Volume I, work has been continuing since 2007 to update Volume II. This work is being conducted through a joint project of the ICRC and BRC, based at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge.

The purpose of updating Volume II is for government and military lawyers, legal practitioners, judges, legal personnel of international organisations and non-governmental organisations, legal officers of the Movement and academics to have easy access to accurate, extensive and geographically diverse information on practice in the field of international humanitarian law. It will also facilitate a possible future update of Volume I.

Since August 2010, both Volume I and Volume II have been freely available online through the ICRC’s Customary IHL Database.

Scope

The post holder will be part of a three-person research team based at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge. The work is co-ordinated and overseen on a day-to-day basis by a team leader. The researchers are employed by the BRC and for these purposes, report to the Head of International Law of the BRC.

The substantive work of the researchers is carried out under the direct supervision of the head of project, i.e. the ICRC legal adviser in charge of the project on customary international humanitarian law. The head of project will be in regular communication with the team from Geneva via telephone and email and, from time to time, will travel to Cambridge to meet with the team and evaluate progress.

Overall Purpose of the Post

To up-date the collection of practice supporting the ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law.

Click here for more information on this vacancy:  Research Fellow IHL Job Description.Jan 2012.doc
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