Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE IRL5051

 
TITLE Legal Dimensions of Humanitarian Action

 
LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 5

 
DEPARTMENT International Relations

 
DESCRIPTION 1. Definitions of domestic rights and law in contrast to international rights and law; Hard Rights and Remedies in domestic law in contrast to soft international law rights and remedies;

2. Inexistent, inefficient or insufficient remedies [judicial or institutional] to breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights; diplomatic remedies compared to judicial, media and other political remedies. The striking diplomatic but not judicial nature of the U.N. Human Rights Council. The primacy of international bargaining and negotiation of specific breaches of human rights within changing geo-strategic and geo-political systems.

3. The UN Charter’s A. 2.4 historic prohibition of the use of force in international relations ‘jus ad bellum’ except for self-defence or if and as authorized by a UNSC resolution; Weapons: prohibitions and restrictions, nuclear weapons; Crimes against humanity: genocide; mercenaries. Hardly any judicial remedies for breaches at this high political/military level, only political/diplomatic remedies.

4. The post-cold war relevance of the Sovereignty of States, and the UN. Charter’s Articles 2.4 and 2.7 re: non-use of force or threat thereof, and non-intervention in the domestic affairs of member states and International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law and Diplomacy. Is there an implicit or explicit legal hierarchy of norms in the Charter granting priority to Human Rights protection always, everywhere? A realpolitik critique of the new international responsibilities of States:- A. ‘Responsibility to protect’; B. ‘Responsibility while protecting’ C. ‘Responsibility after protecting’

5. Limitations [legal, political, diplomatic] of the increasing number of international Judicial remedies: International Humanitarian Law before the Courts: from Nurenberg to the International Criminal Tribunals on Yugoslavia and Rwanda [ICTR ICTY] and to the International Criminal Court: Victors’ Justice; Bilateral Impunity Agreements [BIAs].

6. The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees with its 1967 Protocol; the fundamental principle of ‘non-refoulement’; and, the Migration conventions.

7. Limitations of other remedies to breaches of Humanitarian Rights and Obligations in ‘jus in bello’ under:-
(a) the ‘Law of The Hague’, the Conventions of 1899, 1907 on the Laws of War;
(b) the ‘Law of Geneva’, the 4 Geneva Conventions;

8. Governments’, Non-Governmental Organizations’ diplomatic actors committed to advancing Humanitarian Diplomacy at various levels of diplomatic activity either directly vis-à-vis the respective government of the country concerned and indirectly and administratively via the various established International Institutions:-
i. U.N. Security Council;
ii. U.N. Human Rights Council and Treaty mechanisms;
iii. Regional Human Rights Organizations’ mechanisms;
iv. U.N. Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs;
v. U.N.H.C.R. - UN High Commission for Refugees;
vi. International Migration Organization;
vii. The International Committee of the Red Cross;

9. Humanitarian diplomacy: HD Actors [governmental and/or non-governmental] advocating, lobbying for full respect of the interests and rights of vulnerable persons, everywhere, at all times and delivering required assistance to vulnerable persons everywhere, at all times, swiftly, efficiently and diplomatically through negotiation etc. smoothing away politicians and government officials’ inhibitions, prohibitions, restrictions, antagonism, repression, suppression. Bringing International Institutions, Governments, politicians and/or officials over to one’s point of view. Identification of the relevant HD Actors and valid Interlocutors not as simple to accomplish as in classical diplomacy where formal credentials clinched that. Semble, communications especially in follow-up phases remain critically asymmetrical between State and non-State entities. The ensuing problem of asymmetrical informal/formal agreements and their being respected.

10. Critique of the Organization and Management of current Humanitarian Diplomacy:-
a. Lack of policy coherence and policy cohesion regarding Humanitarian Diplomacy between Defence, Development and Diplomacy staffers, objectives, budgets, administration, implementation;
b. Selective geographically and in timing, depending on political allocation of essential financial resources and hardware for humanitarian operations in the absence of own resources institutions;
c. irregular Mobilisation of public and governments’ support, depending on political allocation of essential international media resources in the absence of own international media resources;
d. unaccountability [political, budgetary] of NGOs as HD Actors:- Amnesty International; Medicins sans Frontieres; The International Committee of the Red Cross.

11. HUMANITARIAN LAW & DIPLOMACY – ADMINISTRATION
i) monitoring the domestic compliance of laws and practices with the UN Human Rights (HR) treaties, and participation in the reporting procedures before the HR Treaty bodies;
ii) providing humanitarian products and services where and when asked;
iii) participating in decision-making bodies, reporting, ensuring the implementation of projects, co-ordinating its work with other humanitarian organizations .

12. The Humanitarian Diplomatic narrative for the classical State/NGO officials’ exchanges:- Developing the Discourse: Ethical, Legal, Political dimensions of the above modules and critique into speeches, representations and demarches.

13. Diplomatic Skills of the STATE/NGO official in charge of Humanitarian Diplomacy:- Advocacy; Lobbying; Mastering the Ethical, Legal, Political arguments of the Narrative; Exploiting leverage; analogies with other U.N. Agencies' Multi-stakeholder diplomatic endeavours; Communicating concepts; Media projection ability; Partnership and relationship building; Setting informal and formal agreements; Dealing with and Persuading, convincing and turning the ‘other’; Training and Capacity-building: evolving interactions.

14. International Humanitarian Diplomacy: From generalist to specialist. The increasing reliance on specialist officers, e.g. doctors, nurses, para-medics on the ground in times of conflict. Reporting procedures, guidelines of engagement, performance criteria. Restoring food, family links, health, shelter, water, education.

15. Post-conflict international humanitarian law and Diplomacy: weapon contamination; reconciliation; compensation.

16. The privatization of war. Private military/security companies and contractors in armed conflict, military entrepreneurs and international humanitarian law. " The 2008 Montreux document - on pertinent international legal obligations and good practices for States related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict "

Study-unit Aims

1. Provide definitions of domestic rights and law in contrast to international rights and law in the context of humanitarian law.
2. Examine the issue of inexistent, inefficient or insufficient remedies in the context of International Humanitarian Law.
3. Revise the post-cold war relevance of the Sovereignty of States, and the UN. Charter’s Articles 2.4 and 2.7 re: non-use of force or threat thereof.
4. Discuss the limitations [legal, political, diplomatic] of the increasing number of international Judicial remedies.
5. Discuss the limitations of the various U.N. Human Rights Treaty-based administrative remedies.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. comprehend definitions of domestic rights and law in contrast to international rights and law
2. Be aware of the limitations and insufficient remedies found in the body of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights as relevant to humanitarian action.
3. Be knowledgeable of the Limitations [legal, political, diplomatic] of the increasing number of international Judicial remedies
4. Be conversant with Governments’, Non-Governmental Organizations’ diplomatic actors committed to advancing Humanitarian Diplomacy at various levels of diplomatic activity

2. Skills: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- To be conversant with International Humanitarian Law
- To be able to utilise diplomatic tools in order to mediate conflict
- To be conversant and be able to critique the current methods used when utilising the tools of humanitarian diplomacy.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

1. The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project http://www.adh-geneva.ch/RULAC/index.php - an initiative of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights to support the application and implementation of international law in armed conflict

2. Francoise Bouchet-Saulnier, Laura Brav, Clémentine Olivier (2007)The Practical Guide to Humanitarian Law (Rowman and Littlefield)

3. Larry Minear and Hazel Smith (eds) Humanitarian Diplomacy: Practitioners and Their Craft. United Nations University Press 2007

4. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies http://www.ifrc.org/publicat/conduct/index.asp

5. Universal Human Rights Index of UN documents http://www.universalhumanrightsindex.org/ instant access on all countries to human rights information from the United Nations system, based on the observations and recommendations of the UN Treaty Bodies monitoring the implementation of the core international human rights treaties (since 2000) and the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council (since 2006)

6. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights http://www.ohchr.org – international human rights standards, mechanisms and bodies; thematic/country human rights areas.

7. Gary D. Solis (2010). The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law In War Cambridge University Press

8. Lawrence Weschler, ‘International Humanitarian Law: An Overview’ in Anthony Dworkin et al (2007) Crimes of War 2.0: What the Public Should Know (Revised and Expanded) W. W. Norton& Company

9. Michael Lewis, Eric Jensen, Geoffrey Corn, Victor Hansen, Richard Jackson and James Schoettler, 'THE WAR ON TERROR AND THE LAWS OF WAR: A MILITARY PERSPECTIVE' (Oxford University Press, 2009).

10. Marco Sassoli, Antoine Bouvier, 'HOW DOES LAW PROTECT IN WAR? CASES, DOCUMENTS AND TEACHING MATERIALS ON CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE IN INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW' (2nd ed. 2006).

11. Ryan Goodman & Mindy Jane Roseman, 'INTERROGATIONS, FORCED FEEDINGS, AND THE ROLE OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMANITARIAN LAW, AND ETHICS' (Cambridge, MA: Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School, 2009).

12. Anthony Cullen 'THE CONCEPT OF NON-INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICT IN INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW' (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

13. Andrea Bianchi, 'INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AND TERRORISM' (Hart, 2011).

14. Yutaka Arai-Takahashi, 'THE LAW OF OCCUPATION: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, AND ITS INTERACTION WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW' (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2009).

15. CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW (Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswalk-Beck eds., Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
JOURNALS


1. African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law (Juta, 2006-)
2. International Review of the Red Cross (ICRC, 1961-).
3. Journal of Conflict & Security Law (previous title, Journal of Armed Conflict Law) (Oxford University Press, 2005-).
4. Journal of International Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press, 2003-).
5. Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies (Martinus Nijhoff, 2010-).
6. Journal of International Peacekeeping (Martinus Nijhoff, 2009-).
7. Revue Humanitaire (Médecins du Monde, 2000-).
8. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law (Cambridge University Press, 1998-)

 
ADDITIONAL NOTES Co-requisite Study-units: As prescribed within MA in Humanitarian Action

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Long Essay SEM1 Yes 20%
Simulation SEM1 Yes 30%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 50%

 
LECTURER/S Alex Sceberras Trigona

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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