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IRI2537 / 24A Conflict and International Law Professional Masters

1. Introduction to course – structure and objectives - 12 March

2. Sources and hierarchy of international law – 19 March

3. Humanitarian Interventions – 26 March

4. International Law of Armed Conflict – 2 April

5. The UN Charter, Peace Operations and the Protection of Civilians - 16 April

6. Individual presentations - Topics in the International Law of Armed Conflict 30 April

7. Refugee law, human rights law and internal displacement - 7 May

8. UN Human Rights treaty and non-treaty mechanisms - 14 May

9. Torture and international law - 28 May

10. Prison inspections (practical exercise) - 4 June

11. Peace Operations human rights and criminal justice - 11 June

12. Humanitarian assistance and the cluster system - 18 June

13. Gender and peacekeeping – Sexual Exploitation and Abuse - 25 June

14. Individual presentations - 2 July

Essential Reading
Conor Foley, The Protection of Civilians by UN Peacekeeping missions: saving succeeding
generations, Cambridge University Press, 2017
Hildebrando Accioly, Manual de Direito Internacional Público, Editora Saraiva, 2012.
Valerio de Oliveira Mazzuoli, Curso de Direito Internacional Público, Editora Revista dos
Tribunais, 2011
Guido Fernandes Silva Soares, Curso de Direito Internacional Público, Editora Atlas, 2002

Exam: students are required to attend all classes and prepare short presentations for each of
them. They are also required to make an individual presentation from one of the questions in
week six and to present their research topic in week 15.
2. Sources and hierarchy of international law

Reading
Malanczuk, Peter, Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law, seventh revised
edition, London and New York: Routledge, 1999
Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law, Oxford University Press, 2008
Hildebrando Accioly, Manual de Direito Internacional Público, Editora Saraiva, 2012.
Valerio de Oliveira Mazzuoli, Curso de Direito Internacional Público, Editora Revista dos
Tribunais, 2011
Guido Fernandes Silva Soares, Curso de Direito Internacional Público, Editora Atlas, 2002
Christine Gray, International Law and the Use of Force, Oxford University Press, 2008
DJ Harris, Cases and Materials in International Law, Fifth Edition, London: Sweet and
Maxwell, 1998

Questions

How and where does the International Court of Justice define the sources of international law?

Do individuals have rights and duties under international law? Have they always?

What role do opinion juris and state practice play in establishing a rule of customary
international law?

´Jurisdiction is primarily territorial and other bases are exceptional, requiring special
justification in the particular circumstances of each case.´ Discuss

Explain the following terms: Lex posterrior derogat priori and Lex specialis derogat legi
generali

What is the significance of Jus cogens and erga omnes in international law?
3. Humanitarian Interventions

Reading
Gareth Evans and Mohamed, Sahnoun, The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, Ottawa: International
Development Research Centre, 2001
Gareth Evans, The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All,
Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2008
Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: how humanitarianism went to war, Verso 2010
Letter dated 9 November 2011 from the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United
Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, ‘Responsibility while protecting: elements for the
development and promotion of a concept’, 11 November 2011
Text of speech delivered by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Sedgefield, 5 March 2004
Statement by Professor Noam Chomsky to the United Nations General Assembly Thematic
Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect United Nations, New York 23 July 2009
Kai Michael Kenkel, ‘Brazil and R2P: Does Taking Responsibility Mean Using Force?’, Global
Responsibility to Protect, Vol. 4 Issue, 2012
Carsten Stahn, ‘Responsibility to Protect: Political Rhetoric or Emerging Legal Norm?’, The
American Journal of International Law, Vol. 101, No. 1, January 2007
Simon Chesterman, ‘Leading from Behind’: The Responsibility to Protect, the Obama Doctrine,
and Humanitarian Intervention After Libya, New York University School of Law, Public law &
legal theory research paper series, Working paper No. 11-35, June 2011
Questions

If there was clear and compelling evidence that a genocide was occurring and the only way to
stop this was through an external military intervention that could be easily organized and had a
good chance of bringing the killing to an end with a proportionately small loss of life, but one
member of the Security Council threatened to veto such an intervention (although it was
supported by the majority of other members) would other member states be legally justified in
launching an intervention without Chapter VII Security Council authorization? Discuss.

´A regime can systematically brutalize and oppress its people and there is nothing anyone can
do, when dialogue, diplomacy and even sanctions fail, unless it comes within the definition of a
humanitarian catastrophe. . . This may be the law, but should it be?´ Discuss.

Does the right of ´humanitarian access´ create a right of ´humanitarian intervention´?

´A legitimate body to authorise humanitarian interventions must be either democratic or


representative; the UN Security Council is neither´. Discuss.

The UN has moved from a ‘Westphalian conception of peace’ to a ‘post-Westphalian’ one, in


which the primary purpose of peace operations is to build ‘liberal democratic regimes and
societies’. Discuss.

R2P in its current formulation strengthens Westphalian notions of national sovereignty. Discuss.
4. International Law of Armed Conflict

Reading
Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law, Oxford University Press, 2008 (Ch 1, 2, 4 5)
Conor Foley, The Protection of Civilians by UN Peacekeeping missions: saving succeeding
generations, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (Chapter 4)
Noam Lubell, Extraterritorial Use of Force Against Non-State Actors, Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2010
Noam Lubell, ‘Human rights obligations in military occupation’, International Review of the
Red Cross, Vol. 94 No. 885, Spring 2012, pp.317-37
Christine Gray, International Law and the Use of Force, Oxford University Press, 2008
Duffy, Helen, The ‘war on terror’ and the Framework of International Law, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2006
Dieter Fleck (ed), Handbook of Humanitarian Law, Oxford University Press, 2008
Terry Gill and Dieter Fleck (eds), The Handbook of the International Law of Military
Operations, Oxford University Press, 2015
Marc Weller (ed), The Oxford Handbook on the Use of Force in International Law, Oxford
University Press 2014
Bruce ‘Ossie’ Oswald, ‘Some controversies of detention in multinational operations and the
contributions of the Copenhagen Principles’, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 95,
No. 891/892 Autumn/Winter 2013, pp.707-26
Bruce ‘Ossie’ Oswald, ‘The Law on Military Operations: Answering the Challenges of
Detention during Contemporary Peace Operations’ Melbourne Journal of International Law,
Vol. 8, 2007, pp.1-16
Jelena Pejic, ‘Procedural principles and safeguards for internment/administrative detention in
armed conflict and other situations of violence’, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 87,
No. 858, June 2005, pp.375-91
Daphna Shraga, ‘UN Peacekeeping: Applicability of International Humanitarian Law and
Responsibility for Operations-Related Damage’, American Journal of International Law, Vol.
94, Issue 2, 2000, pp.406–412
Daphna Shraga, ‘The Secretary-General’s Bulletin on the Observance by United Nations Forces
of International Humanitarian Law: a decade later’, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Vol. 39,
2009, pp.357-78
Simma, Bruno, ‘NATO, the UN and the Use of Force: Legal Aspects’, European Journal of
International Law, Vol. 10, 1999, pp.1-22
Luke Dowdney, Children of the drug trade, Rio de Janeiro: Viva Rio, 2003

Convenções de Genebra e Protocolos Adicionais


Estatuto de Roma da Corte Penal Internacional
5. The UN Charter, Peace Operations and the Protection of Civilians

Reading
Alex Bellamy and Paul Williams, Understanding Peacekeeping, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2011
Conor Foley, The Protection of Civilians by UN Peacekeeping missions: saving succeeding
generations, Cambridge University Press, 2017
Samantha Power, Chasing the flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the fight to save the world,
London: Penguin Books, 2008
Christine Gray, International Law and the Use of Force, Oxford University Press, 2008
Guglielmo Verdirame, The UN and Human Rights: Who Guards the Guardians? Cambridge
University Press, 2011
Alexander Orakhelashvili, “The Legal Basis of the United-Nations Peacekeeping Operations”,
Virginia Journal of International Law, 43 (2003), pp 485-524 (Online journal)
Scott Sheeran, “Contemporary Issues in UN Peacekeeping and International Law”, Institute for
Democracy and Conflict Resolution, University of Essex, Briefing Paper Series, 2011
(available on-line)
Erika De Wet, The Chapter VII Powers of the United Nations Security Council, Portland,
Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2004
Frederic Megret and Florian Hoffmann, ‘The UN as a Human Rights Violator? Some
Reflections on the UN’s Changing Human Rights Responsibilities’ Human Rights Quarterly,
Vol. 25, No. 2, 2003, pp.314-334
United Nations General Assembly resolution 377 (V), “Uniting for Peace” (1950),
http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/5/ares5.htm
Certain Expenses of the UN (Advisory Opinion) ICJ Rep. 1951, http://www.icj-
cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&k=4a&case=49&code=ceun&p3=4
Uniting our strengths for peace – politics, partnerships and people, Report of the High Level
Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, Advance Copy, 16 June 2015
The future of United Nations peace operations: implementation of the recommendations of the
High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, Report of the Secretary-General,
A/70/357–S/2015/682, 2 September 2015
Evaluation of the implementation and results of protection of civilians mandates in United
Nations peacekeeping operations Report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, UN Doc
A/68/787, 7 March 2014

Questions

What is peacekeeping? Does it have a different meaning to ‘peace operations’? What factors
led to the development of UN peacekeeping? How did its evolution reflect different political
stages of history? What are the foundational principles of UN peacekeeping?

What is the legal basis for UN peacekeeping? What does the ICJ Expenses Case say about this?

What is the relationship between Articles 2 (4), 2 (7) and Chapter VII of the UN Charter?

Under what circumstances can the Security Council authorize the deployment of a UN peace
operation?

What is the basis for the UN Secretariat’s exercise of powers in relation to peacekeeping?

Is a ´threat to peace´ whatever the Security Council says is a ´threat to peace´?


6. Topics in the International Law of Armed Conflict – presentations
a) Is a pre-emptive strike compatible with Article 51 of the UN Charter? Is the right to
self-defence independent of Article 51 and, if so, what difference is there between the
two? Were any of the incidents of resort to force against Iraq in the past three decades
lawful? Was the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan an act of self-defence?

b) When does internal violence become an armed conflict? When does external support
for an armed group create an international armed conflict? Can State A ever lawfully
intervene in on-going fighting within State B?

c) Is the law of armed conflicts applicable to the “war on terror”? How would you classify
the operation in Afghanistan between various forces led by the United States and the
Taliban and Al Qaeda forces? Was it an armed conflict? If so, was it an international or
a non-international armed conflict? What is the current status of the conflict?

d) When might a civilian object become a military target? What are the criteria for
distinguishing military them? Who has the responsibility to take precautions? How do
the responsibilities of those planning and carrying out the attack differ?

e) Which kind of precautionary measures can be taken by the attacking armed forces to
avoid or minimize collateral damage? Which ones must be taken? What should the
defenders do in order to protect civilians from the attacks? Can the presence of civilians
render legitimate military targets immune from attack? If so, in what circumstances?

f) Does ‘military necessity’ justify the use of an otherwise unlawful weapon or of a lawful
weapon used unlawfully? Is it accurate to say that any weapon which causes damage to
the environment is unlawful? Are anti-personnel mines indiscriminate? Is there any
other reason for banning them?

g) What are the legal consequences for a civilian who decides to participate in hostilities?
Does s/he become a combatant? What is the status of members of armed groups in a
non-international armed conflict? What is meant by the term ‘unlawful combatant’?
Can a POW be repatriated against his or her will? Must a POW be repatriated even
against his or her will?

h) A patrol of soldiers from State A, whilst behind enemy positions, found a wounded
soldier from State B. They fed him and gave him water. They had to continue the
patrol, so could not take him with them. They could not leave him there for fear that he
would tell his own forces of their presence. What should the patrol have done?

i) What is the difference between being an occupying power or a sovereign government of


the state, in terms of rights and duties? What difficulties are posed by the provisions of
Geneva Convention IV in the case of long-term belligerent occupations? Are the duties
owed by a state in belligerent occupation of territory more or less onerous than those it
owes to its nationals?

j) Can the existence of violence during an occupation be considered an armed conflict? If


so, what are the legal and practical implications? What are the arguments over the
applicability of human rights obligations to extraterritorial military operations?

k) What are the main differences between IHL and international human rights law
regarding the use of lethal force?
7. UN Human rights Treaty and non-treaty mechanisms

Reading

Danielle Annoni. ´Os Novos Conceitos do Novo Direito Internacional: Cidadania, Democracia e
Direitos Humanos´, America Jurídica, 2009.
Andrew Clapham, Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2007
David Forsyth, Human Rights in International Relations, Cambridge University Press, 2000
Theodor Merron (ed) Human Rights in International Law, Oxford University Press, 1988
Henry Steiner. International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Moral, Oxford University
Press, 2007 (Chapters 2 and 3).
Danielle Annoni. ´Os Novos Conceitos do Novo Direito Internacional: Cidadania, Democracia e
Direitos Humanos´, America Jurídica, 2009.

Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos,


Convenção contra a Tortura,
Convenção para a Prevenção e Repressão contra o Crime de Genocídio,
Pacto Internacional sobre Direitos Civis e Políticos.
Pacto Internacional sobre Direitos Econômicos, Sociais e Culturais,

Questions

What is the difference between balanced and non-derogable rights?

What does ´progressive realization´ mean?

What is the difference between positive and negative obligations?

What is the status of non-refoulement in international law?

How does the principle of ´proportionality´ apply to the use of lethal force by the security
services?

Does the Universal Periodic Review strengthen or weaken state accountability?

How is the UN bound by international human rights law? What are its potential ´positive´ and
´negative´ obligations?
8. Refugee law, human rights and internal displacement

Reading
Guy Godwin Gill, Refugees in International Law, Second Edition, Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2007
James Hathaway, The Rights of Refugees under International Law, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2005
Walter Kälin, Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement Annotations, The American Society
of International Law The Brookings Institution – University of Bern, Project on Internal
Displacement Studies in Transnational Legal Policy, No. 38, Washington, DC, 2008
Walter Kälin, Rhodri C Williams, Khalid Koser and Andrew Solomon, Incorporating the
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement into Domestic Law: Issues and Challenges, The
American Society of International Law The Brookings Institution – University of Bern, Project
on Internal Displacement, Washington, DC, 2010
Roberta Cohen, ‘Strengthening Protection of IDPs; The UN’s Role’, Georgetown Journal of
International Affairs, No. 7, 2006, pp.101-110
Paul Schmidt, ‘The Process and Prospects for the U.N. Guiding Principles on Internal
Displacement to Become Customary International Law: A Preliminary Assessment’,
Georgetown Journal of International Law, Vol. 35, No. 3, Spring 2004, pp.483-520
Ingunn Sofie Aursnes and Conor Foley, Property restitution in practice: The Norwegian
Refugee Councils’ experience, Norwegian Refugee Council, 2005

Carta dos Refugiados


The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

Questions

Refugee status determination is a ‘declaratory not a constitutive process’. Discuss.

Does UNHCR´s involvement in the provision of relief assistance in refugee-producing countries


compromise its Protection mandate?

Has international human rights law now become the primary source of refugee protection?

Is ´voluntary return in safety and dignity´ the most desirable long-term solution to mass internal
displacement?

What are the main problems relating to the restitution of housing, land and property rights in a
post-conflict situation?

What legal protection do the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement add to international
human rights, humanitarian and refugee law?
9. Torture and international law

Reading

Nigel Rodley, The Treatment of Prisoners in international law, Oxford University Press, 2009
Conor Foley, Protecting Brazilians against torture, Ministry of Justice of Brazil/International
Bar Association
Camille Giffard The Torture Reporting Handbook, University of Essex
Conor Foley, Another system is possible: reforming Brazilian justice, Ministry of Justice of
Brazil/International Bar Association
Richard Carver and Lisa Handley Does Torture Prevention Work? Liverpool University Press
Conor Foley, Thematic Review of the Collaborative Project on improving the investigation and
prosecution of cases of Torture in Tunisia, DIGNITY, June 2017

Questions

How do you respond to the ´ticking bomb´ argument?

How do the state obligations to respect, protect and fulfil apply to torture cases?

While the right to liberty is potentially derogable, the right to challenge the lawfulness of a
detention may be non-derogable. What is the relevance of this to protections against torture?

Should torture be distinguished from Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment
through a threshold of severity or a purposive element?

In what circumstances should a statement which is established to have been made as a result of
torture be invoked as evidence in any proceedings?

Where a person enters custody in good health but is found to be injured on release, on whom
does the burden of proof rest?

Torture usually takes place in closed and confined spaces where, apart from the victim, the only
witnesses are likely to be complicit in its infliction. What other factors might a judge consider
when trying to establish whether or not torture has occurred?

What are the legal and evidential distinctions between torture as a crime and torture as a human
right violation?
11. Human Rights and UN Peace Operations

Reading
Kjetil Mujezinovic Larsen, The Human Rights Treaty Obligations of Peacekeepers, Cambridge
Studies in International and Comparative Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012
Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: how humanitarianism went to war, Verso 2010
Kai Michael Kenkel, ´Five generations of peace operations: from the thin blue line to painting a
country blue´, Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional
Gerd Oberleitner, Human Rights in Armed Conflict: law, practice, policy, Cambridge University
Press, 2015
UN Secretary-General, An Agenda for Peace: Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-
keeping (1992) (A/47/277 - S/24111)
UN Secretary-General, Supplement to an Agenda for Peace (1995) (A/50/60 - S/1995/1)
Report of the panel on United Nations Peace Operations (2000) (A/55/305–S/2000/809) (the
Brahimi Report), www.un.org/peace/reports/peace_operations/
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations:
Principles and Guidelines (2008) (‘the Capstone Doctrine’)
UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, A Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon
for UN Peacekeeping (2009)
Scott Sheeran, ‘UN Peacekeeping and the Model Status of Forces Agreement: Experts’
Workshop’, UN Peacekeeping Law Reform Project, University of Essex (2010)

UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations website www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/

Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 1946 (1 UNTS 15)
Model Status of Forces Agreement for Peace-Keeping Operations: Report of the Secretary
General (1990) (A/45/594)

Questions

Compare and contrast Behrami and Saramati with Al- Jedda

Compare and contrast Bankovic with Al-Skeini

In what circumstances is a UN peacekeeper legally obliged to use lethal force?

Compare and contrast Sayadi and Vinck v. Belgium with Nada v. Switzerland

The UN should become a party to the conflict in order to resolve it. Discuss

´The best way to protect civilians is to help resolve the conflict that they are suffering and so
this should be the first mandated priority of the mission´. Discuss

What are the main differences between R2P and POC?


12. International criminal justice and the International Criminal Court

Reading
Antonio Cassese, International Criminal Law, Oxford University Press, 2008 (Ch 15 - 19)
Conor Foley, The Protection of Civilians by UN Peacekeeping missions: saving succeeding
generations, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (Chapter 7)
Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: how humanitarianism went to war, Verso 2010 (Chapter 6)
Paola Gaeta, ‘Is NATO authorised or Obliged to Arrest Persons Indicted by the International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia?', European Journal of International Law, 9
(1998), pp.174-181 (Online journal)
Guardian, Conor Foley, ´Darfur: a disaster for justice´, April 2009
Guardian, Conor Foley, ´This Darfur prosecution is deadly´, 27 May 2009
Human Rights Watch, Selling Justice Short: Why Accountability Matters for Peace (2009)
International Crisis Group, Sudan: Justice, Peace and the ICC, Crisis Group Africa Report
N°152, (2009) pp i-ii, 1-7, 26-29
Amnesty International, UN aids Sudanese official wanted for war crimes, 13 January 2011
Human Rights Watch, ICC: Congolese Warlord to go to trial, HRW, 9 June 2014
Human Rights Watch, Sudan: ICC suspect at scene of fresh crimes, HRW, 3 June 2013
Human Rights Watch, DR Congo: Arrest Bosco Ntaganda for ICC trial, HRW, 13 April 2012
Human Rights Watch, “They Killed Them Like It Was Nothing”: The Need for Justice for Côte
d’Ivoire’s Post-Election Crimes, HRW, October 2011

Relationship Agreement between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations
(2004)

Questions

What is the scope of the obligation on States to prevent breaches of the law of armed conflicts?

To what extent are ´superior orders´ relevant where a person charged with committing a grave
breach of the Geneva Conventions and/or a war crime claims that he was obeying the order of a
superior officer?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an ad hoc international war crimes tribunal, such
as the ICTY? Do the same issues arise with the ICC?

Are UN soldiers, prohibited, permitted or required to implement ICC arrest warrants?

What is your view on the ´justice versus peace dilemma´? Compare and contrast the debates on
this issue in Cote d´Ivoire, DRC, Darfur and Northern Uganda?

What protection does international law provide to UN Peacekeeping soldiers if they became
party to a conflict?

Should humanitarian agencies cooperate with the ICC and be prepared to testify about crimes
committed under its statute?
13. Gender and peacekeeping

Reading
UN Women Sourcebook on Women, Peace and Security, United Nations 2012
Renata A. Giannini, Mariana Lima and Pérola Pereira, Implementing UNSC Resolution 1325 in
Brazil: surmounting challenges and promoting equality, Igarapé Institute, October 2015
Conor Foley and Sarah Blakemore, Safeguarding children from sexual exploitation and abuse
in the context of UN peacekeeping operations, Keeping Children Safe, December 2016
Marie Deschamps, (Chair) Hassan B. Jallow and Yasmin Sooka, Taking Action on Sexual
Exploitation and Abuse by Peacekeepers: Report of an Independent Review on Sexual
Exploitation and Abuse by International Peacekeeping Forces in the Central African Republic,
17 December 2015
Report of the Secretary-General on Conflict-related sexual violence, S/2015/203, 23 March
2015
OIOS Inspection and Evaluation Division, Evaluation Report, Evaluation of the Enforcement
and Remedial Assistance Efforts for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by the United Nations and
Related Personnel in Peacekeeping Operations, IED-15-001,15 May 2015, reissued 12 June
2015
Dr. Thelma Awori, Dr. Catherine Lutz, and General Paban J. Thapa, Expert Mission to Evaluate
Risks to SEA Prevention Efforts in MINUSTAH, UNMIL, MONUSCO and UNMISS, 3
November 2013
Implementation of the United Nations Comprehensive Strategy on Assistance and Support to
Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by United Nations Staff and Related Personnel,
A/64/176, 27 July 2009
Women, Peace and Security Study submitted by the Secretary-General pursuant to Security
Council resolution 1325 (2000), United Nations 2002

Questions

How does conflict affect women and girls differently from men and boys?

Is sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) a threat to international peace and security?

Should a UN peacekeeping mission attempt to protect women and girls from violence
committed in the ´private´ sphere?

What are the consequences of women´s exclusion from peace processes?

What are some of the common barriers to the development of National Action Plans to
implement UNSC Resolution 1325?

What does gender-responsive conflict prevention and protection mean?

How can women´s participation in peacebuilding be increased and what are the principle
obstacles to this?

Is the UN doing enough to prevent and punish sexual exploitation and abuse by its personnel in
peacekeeping missions? What are the main obstacles to more effective action?
14. Humanitarian Assistance and the ´Cluster system´

Reading
The Sphere Handbook: Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian
Response, Sphere, 2018
Françoise Bouchet-Saulnier, The Practical Guide to Humanitarian Law, Rowman & Littlefield,
2002
Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: how humanitarianism went to war, Verso 2010
Sara Pantuliano (ed), Uncharted Territory: land, conflict and humanitarian action, Practical
Action Publishing, 2009
Michele Acuto (ed), Negotiating Relief: the politics of humanitarian space, Hurst & Co, 2014
Gilles Carbonnier, Humanitarian Economics: war, disaster and the global aid market, Hurst &
Co., 2015
Alex de Waal, Famine Crimes: politics and the disaster relief industry in Africa, Indiana
University Press, 2002

International Committee of the Red Cross, website, https://www.icrc.org/en


Medecins sans Frontieres website https://www.msf.org.br/
UNHCR website https://www.unhcr.org/
OCHA website https://www.unocha.org/
Inter-Agency Standing Committee website https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/

Questions

Is there a right to humanitarian assistance? How would you derive such a right from existing
international legal frameworks?

´Humanitarian aid agencies seek to be neutral towards the winners and losers of a war, but the
impact of their aid is not neutral regarding whether conflict worsens or abates´. Discuss

´Human rights protection cannot be reduced to protection against violence and oppression,
against death or torture, but always has to be protection against basic deprivation, like hunger,
sickness or lack of shelter´. Discuss.

Do displaced people have a right to return to their original homes, or merely to their country of
origin? How would you derive such a right from existing international legal frameworks?

Have humanitarians lost sight of the fact that protection of civilians during periods of violent
crisis is not their job?

Why did MSF not participate in the Sphere Project and the Humanitarian Cluster system?