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


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.


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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