ALMA Newsletter - February 2020


Dear Friends,

Welcome to our February 2020 newsletter. We are very excited to start a new IHL year with all the most current information, updates and upcoming events. We are even more excited as this year marks the 10 year anniversary of the founding of ALMA, and we are currently planning how to mark this important milestone. Stay tuned for updates.

I hope that you enjoy this issue of our newsletter. The targeting of IRGC Quds Force's Commander Soleimani generated a large amount of IHL-related writing and we have tried to assemble many of these together under one section, alongside our usual sections.

As always, you are welcome to keep in touch via our Facebook page and twitter. In order to subscribe to our mailing list please click here. If you wish to donate to ALMA's activity please visit our donations page.

Best regards,

Ido Rosenzweig

ALMA Chairman

Spotlight: Soleimani Attack

1) Emad Mekay, Soleimani’s death renews debate on drone killings (International Bar Association)

2) Eliav Lieblich, Targeted Killing of General Soleimani: Why the Laws of War Should Apply, and Why it Matters (Just Security)

3) Anthony Dworkin, Soleimani Strike Marks a Novel Shift in Targeted Killing, Dangerous to the Global Order (Just Security)

4) Alonso Gurmendi, Raising Questions on Targeted Killings as First Strikes in IACs (Opinio Juris)

5) Alonso Gurmendi, The Soleimani Case and the Last Nail in the Lex Specialis Coffin (Opinio Juris)

6) Mary Ellen O'Connell, The Killing of Soleimani and International Law (EJIL:Talk)

7) Milena Sterio, The Legality of the United States’ Strike on Soleimani (IntLawGrrls)

8) Charlie Dunlap J.D., The killing of General Soleimani was lawful self-defense, not “assassination” (LawFire)

9) Tess Bridgeman, The Soleimani Strike and War Powers (Just Security)

10) Agnes Callamard, The Targeted Killing of General Soleimani: Its Lawfulness and Why It Matters (Just Security)

11) Adil Ahmad Haque, U.S. Legal Defense of the Soleimani Strike at the United Nations: A Critical Assessment (Just Security)

12) Patryk I. Labuda, The Killing of Soleimani, the Use of Force against Iraq and Overlooked Ius Ad Bellum Questions (EJIL:Talk)

13) Sarah Katharina Stein, The targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani – a short recapitulation (Voelkerrechtsblog)

14) Elliot Winter, The Death of Qasem Soleimani and the Law of Armed Conflict (Jurist)

15) Jill Goldenziel, Analyzing the Legality of the Soleimani Strike (I-CONnect)

16) BBC News, Soleimani attack: What does international law say?

17) Ely Karmon, The killing of Qassem Soleimani (ICT)

18) Geoffrey S. Corn and Chris Jenks, Soleimani and the Tactical Execution of Strategic Self-Defense (LawFare)

IHL Articles and Media

1) Beatrice Walton and Paul Strauch, Three Lingering Questions about the Legality of Withdrawal from Syria: Part II – Duty to Ensure Respect & Releasing ISIS Detainees (Opinio Juris)

2) Marko Milanovic, Iran Unlawfully Retaliates Against the United States, Violating Iraqi Sovereignty in the Process (EJIL:Talk)

3) Hans Brattskar, 50 steps to a mine-free world by 2025 (ICRC)

4) Geoffrey S. Corn and Rachel VanLandingham, Lt Col., (Ret.) USAF, Lawful Self-Defense vs. Revenge Strikes: Scrutinizing Iran and U.S. Uses of Force under International Law (Just Security)

5) Evelyne Schmid, Iran Plane Downing: Likely a Violation of International Humanitarian Law (But Not a War Crime) (Just Security)

6) Todd Buchwald, International Criminal Court and the Question of Palestine’s Statehood: Part I (Just Security)

7) Todd Buchwald, International Criminal Court and the Question of Palestine’s Statehood: Part II (Just Security)

8) Francesca Capone, Playing Safe or Hide and Seek? The ICC Prosecutor’s Request for a Ruling on the Court’s Territorial Jurisdiction in Palestine (EJIL:Talk)

9) Liron Libman, The ICC’s Prosecutor Decision to Investigate the ‘Situation in Palestine’ and Palestinian Statehood (LawFare)

10) Anne Peters, Direct Rights of Individuals in the International Law of Armed Conflict (SSRN)

11) Steven Hill and Andreea Manea, Protection of Civilians: A NATO Perspective (SSRN)

12) Rebecca Sutton, How the Emotions and Perceptual Judgments of Frontline Actors Shape the Practice of International Humanitarian Law (SSRN)

13) Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi, Will the War on Terror Ever End? (SSRN)

14) Asif Khan and Pervaiz Khan, The Status of Non-State Armed Groups in Armed Conflicts (SSRN)

15) Marco Longobardo, The Interplay between Instruments of Codification: The Relationship between the ILC’s Articles on State Responsibility and IHL Conventions (SSRN)

16) Eliav Lieblich, The Humanization of Jus Ad Bellum: Prospects and Perils (SSRN)

17) Terry D. Gill and Kinga Tibori-Szabó, Twelve Key Questions on Self-Defense against Non-State Actors (USNWC)

18) Marco Longobardo, The Occupation of Maritime Territory under International Humanitarian Law (USNWC)

19) ICRC, IHL: a primer for House of Commons staff

20) Alessandra Spadaro, Punish and Be Punished? The Paradox of Command Responsibility in Armed Groups (Oxsford Journal of International Criminal Justice)

21) Dr. Shelly Aviv Yeini, Frontier Incidents as Armed Attacks (YouTube)

22) Anna Stavrianakis, How the UK is facilitating war crimes in Yemen (OUPBlog)

Calls for Papers and Opportunities

1) Customary IHL: Research Fellow – International Humanitarian Law: in the framework of the cooperation between the ICRC and the British Red Cross to update the practice collection of the ICRC’s study on customary international humanitarian law (IHL), the ICRC and the British Red Cross seek to recruit for the position of a researcher in the customary IHL research team based in Cambridge, UK. To apply, and for details about the position, please visit the British Red Cross website. For further information, please see here and here. The closing date for applications is 16 February 2020. Interviews will take place during the week commencing 9 March 2020.

2) Rule of Law from Below - Individuals and Civil Society as Protectors of the Rule of Law in Troubled Times, Call for Papers: Utrecht University’s Montaigne Centre for the Rule of Law and Administration of Justice, together with the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), will host a conference that shifts the focus to the role of individuals and civil society in responding to threats to the rule of law. The purpose of the conference is to investigate the different ways in which individuals can be protectors and defenders of the rule of law, and also explore whether attention to this perspective may influence how the rule of law is defined and understood by States and other international actors. Scholars and practitioners working in this area are invited to submit abstracts to by 15 March 2020.

3) Hague Yearbook of International Law is now receiving submissions for Volume 31, due to be published at the end of 2020. The Hague Yearbook devotes attention to developments in the international law institutions based in the international City of Peace and Justice, The Hague. Submissions on any issues of public or private international law in either English or French language are welcomed. Selected papers will be subject to peer-review before publication. Submissions should follow the OSCOLA style guide and should be sent to before 15 April 2020.

Book Publications

1) Hilly Moodrick-Even Khen, Nir T. Boms, Sareta Ashraph (editors), The Syrian War Between Justice and Political Reality (Cambridge University Press)

2) Ziv Bohrer, Janina Dill and Helen Duffy, Law Applicable to Armed Conflict (Cambridge University Press)

The Syrian War
Law Applicable to Armed Conflict

Upcoming IHL Events - Worldwide

1) Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition: during the 13th edition of the Competition, 10 teams of Dutch and Belgian universities are going to compete against each other with the aim to bring international humanitarian law to life through role plays, lectures and a moot court. Netherlands Red Cross and Belgian Red Cross, Antwerp, Belgium, 10-14 February 2020.

2) 2020 University of New Brunswick International Humanitarian Law Conference: This year’s conference will seek to raise awareness about vulnerable populations in times and areas of armed conflict, focusing on the impact of conflict on protection of members of the LGBTQ+ community and those discriminated against due to their gender or sexual identities. Canadian Red Cross and the International Law Society at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada, 14 February 2020.

3) Seeking the Truth Amid the Fog of Warfare: the Contribution of Human Rights Defenders to Documenting Violations of International Law: organized in cooperation with the Martin Ennals Foundation, this IHL Talk aims at shining a light on the contribution that the courageous work of human rights defenders makes to efforts towards achieving accountability. Geneva Academy, Geneva, Switzerland, 14 February 2020.

4) 33rd Edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition on International Humanitarian Law will take place from 22 to 29 February 2020 in Denpasar (Indonesia). This edition, open to both Francophone and Anglophone teams, will be followed by an exclusively Anglophone edition from 7 to 14 March 2020 and taking place in the same location.

5) 178th International Military Course on LOAC in Arabic: the course is designed for military officers, military lawyers who have a direct professional interest in or an obligation related to the application of the IHL. Participation is also welcomed from government officials, academics and students interested in this subject. The course programme has recently been updated to include greater consideration of the practical application of IHL in the contemporary operating environment. International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Sanremo, Italy, 24 February - 6 March 2020.

For information about more IHL events from all over the world, please visit our Upcoming IHL Events webpage