Direct Participation in Hostilities
July 9, 2009 - 9:30am - 11:00am
This Live Seminar examined the legal and policy responses of different actors to the issue of civilians directly participating in hostilities.
What conduct constitutes "direct participation in hostilities"?
When does direct participation begin and end?
What consequence arise from direct participation in hostilities?
What is the status of private contractors and civilian employees?
A major point of focus was how the changing nature of conflict - marked by increase combat in civilian population centers and the failure of fighters to distinguish themselves from the civilian population - affects the fundamental principle of distinction. We identify and explore these questions and challenges against the backdrop of the recently released "Interpretative Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law" authored by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Naz Modirzadeh, Senior Associate at the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University, and Claude Bruderlein, Director of the Program, hosted the discussion, and were joined by Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, Law Faculty, Tel Aviv University and Nils Melzer, Legal Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross.
Additional materials pertaining to this Live Seminar are available on the International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative Portal Discuss Your Thoughts Join the discussion on Direct Participation in Hostilities on the Humanitarian Law and Policy Forum