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International humanitarian law

ISIS and International Humanitarian Law

The terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) presents complicated issues of classification under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). IHL is the law specifically applicable in times of armed conflict. It seeks to insulate non-combatants such as civilians from all adverse consequences of armed conflicts. It does this by providing non-combatants protection—that is, they […]

Lessons from Boston

Lessons from Boston. Copadoccia, Turkey—I was in Boston with my family just two weeks ago. I thought it was important for my two children to visit the city and appreciate its anti-colonial heritage. The US was not always its own state. It too had to struggle for its independence, much in the same way that […]

Malaysia’s crimes against humanity?

  It’s increasingly becoming clear that Malaysian authorities have no regard whatsoever for their duty under international human rights law to protect and promote the right to life of the Filipinos in Sabah, and their right to a judicial determination of guilt before the imposition of the death penalty. To date, the death toll has […]

Awed during the second national IHL summit

(I delivered the keynote address entitled “In Awe” during the Second International Humanitarian Law Summit at Malacañang yesterday. I am publishing here excerpts of my address where I explained why I was “in awe”.) I am awed because not too long ago, civil society — which I belong to, was excluded in the task of […]
Forced Labor during WW II

Impunity for Nazi crimes

The International Court of Justice recently promulgated a judgment which calls into question both the relevance and function of international law. Unwittingly, it  declared that Nazi Germany is entitled to impunity for acts of forced labor that it committed during World War II. In its February 3, 2012 decision in the case of Germany vs. […]

IHL: The Project

The Philippine Red Cross has designated the month of August as International Humanitarian Law Month. This is a an opportunity to write about recent developments in the law applicable in times of armed conflict. Last year, the United States Supreme Court took a million steps backward when it rendered its opinion in the case of […]

International Humanitarian Law on IHL Day

When a fighter from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front beheads a soldier or a civilian, or resorts to cutting off ears and other body parts, he will be subject to an obligation of all states to investigate, prosecute and punish him for a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law. In like manner, a soldier from […]