International law and the Russian invasion of Ukraine - Call for abstracts for the special issue of the International and Comparative Law Review

The International and Comparative Law Review (ICLR) a peer-reviewed legal journal published by the Faculty of Law, Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic invites contributions from experts and academics for a special issue dedicated to ‘International law and the Russian invasion of Ukraine’. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to iclr@upol.cz. Both full papers (6000 – 8000 words) and commentaries or brief notes (2000 – 4000 words) are encouraged.

 Early career scholars and those focusing on the ongoing conflict from Central and Eastern European states are particularly encouraged to apply.

 See the list of possible topics and more details below.

Call for Abstracts

The International and Comparative Law Review (ICLR) invites contributions from experts and academics for a special issue dedicated to ‘International law and the Russian invasion of Ukraine’. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted to iclr@upol.cz. Both full papers (6000 – 8000 words) and commentaries or brief notes (2000 – 4000 words) are encouraged.

 

Contributions will be widely considered and may include topics dealing with:

  • The use of force and aggression
  • International humanitarian law
  • Human rights law
  • Sanctions/counter measures
  • International criminal law, prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity
  • Role of international organisations in the conflict: the United Nations and its Security Council, the European Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Protection of foreign investments in armed conflicts
  • Legality of weapons supplies to Ukraine
  • Involvement of private military and security companies in the armed conflict
  • Involvement of foreign fighters in the conflict
  • Energy (gas) contracts, energy law dimension

 

Early career scholars and those focusing on the ongoing conflict from Central and Eastern European states are particularly encouraged to apply.

 

Contributions in English, French and German are accepted. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 May 2022. Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit their full papers by 30 July 2022 for peer-review. The Special Issue will be published in October 2022.

For more information, contact the guest editors: Dr Martin Faix (martin.faix@upol.cz), Dr Petr Stejskal (petr.stejskal@upol.cz), or Dr Marko Svicevic (marko.svicevic@upol.cz).

 

 

About the ICLR:

The ICLR, based at the Faculty of Law of Palacký University has been published since 2001 and peer reviewed since 2005. The journal publishes two issues per year and is indexed by Scopus and by the European Reference Index for Humanities and Social Sciences. The ICLR aims to reflect expert research in the field of international law and European Union law as well as in legal orders both of the Czech Republic and other Member States of the European Union. All details on the ICLR’s focus, submission process, formal requirements and archive of the journal are available online at: https://sciendo.com/journal/ICLR.  

CIHOL members examine the conflict in Ukraine from the perspective of international law

The Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law (CIHOL) is committed to providing expertise not only to students and researchers but also to society at large. Recent events have shown a strong interest in international law aspects of current events unfolding in Ukraine. CIHOL members Pavel Bureš, Martin Faix, Ondřej Svaček and Petr Stejskal recently organised a roundtable discussion, the goal of which was to address the main aspects of the armed conflict in Ukraine in a complex yet understandable way. The audience consisted of some 600 online viewers during the roundtable discussion, which was streamed online. A further 6000 views were recorded within the first 24 hours after the roundtable discussion took place, confirming the high demand for reliable, complex and understandable sources of expertise on international law aspects of the conflict.

The event was divided into four short contributions each of which was followed by discussion with audience members. In his introductory remarks, CIHOL head Martin Faix highlighted the paramount importance of the prohibition of the use of force in international relations and in international law. He also briefly explained how this principle changed and shaped the landscape of international law in the aftermath of World War II. Pavel Bureš then spoke about the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk People Republics by the Russian Federation and the legality of this step under international law. The contribution thereafter was delivered by Dr Faix who spoke about the legality of the use of force in international law. Among other things, Dr Faix explained why the exception of self-defence is not applicable in the case of Russian aggression. Ondřej Svaček then focused on aspects connected to international criminal law. He answered four basic questions related to the conflict: Where crimes committed in Ukraine can be prosecuted? Which acts can be prosecuted? Who can be prosecuted? And who can prosecute these crimes? Finally, as. prof. Svaček stressed that even the Czech Republic itself is capable of prosecuting crimes committed in Ukraine under its national laws. In the last contribution, Petr Stejskal examined sanctions against the Russian Federation, including “smart sanctions” focused on individuals. Dr Stejskal concluded that sanctions recently imposed on the Russian Federation are legal in this situation.

In the following discussion, a number of related topics were opened such as protection of civilian populations during the conflict, protection of prisoners of war, the use of nuclear weapons and the possible expulsion of the Russian Federation from the United Nations.

The record of the event is available in the link below (in Czech):

Head of CIHOL commenting Russian aggression against Ukraine in the media

Dr. Martin Faix, head of CIHOL and lecturer at the Palacky University in Olomouc, regularly comments on legal aspects of Russian invasion to Ukraine. During the last weeks, he has been invited by several media including Český rozhlas (Czech Radio, public radio broadcaster) and Česká televize (Czech Television, public television broadcaster) to explain legality of Russian actions under international law. In his appearances, he focused mostly on the legality of the use of force by Russian Federation and analysis whether the act of aggression has been committed by the latter.

 

The Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law issued its official statement on Russian invasion to Ukraine

The Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law issued its official statement on Russian invasion to Ukraine. The statement assesses the situation from the point of view of international law. It is available in Czech and English version.

Statements are available here (ENG version) and here (CZE version)

 

On 6th December, our Centre organised a lecture on the topic of "Lethal propaganda - fake news in post-conflict environment" delivered by the distinguished guest, Vladimír Dzuro.

Mr. Dzuro currently works as Chief of Headquaters Office at the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services in New York. He shared his experience with investigation in former Yugoslavia and spoke about arresting war criminals and mass grave exhumation. On real examples, he also demonstrated the dangerousness of disinformation in conflict scenario.

The lecture was also contributed by Kamil Sládek, historian and ethnologist, who provided historical and factual background of the conflict in former Yugoslavia, and by our member, Petr Stejskal, who examined legality of the arrest of Slavko Dokmanović.

The event was also streamed online and you can see the record of the lecture (in Czech language) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQZwF37-eu4

Lecture "Lethal propaganda - fake news in post-conflict environment" with Vladimír Dzuro

CIHOL organizes lecture "Lethal propaganda - fake news in post-conflict environment" with crime scene investigator Vladimír Dzuro. Vladimír Dzuro worked for International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and currently works for UN in New York. He will share his experience with investigation in former Yugoslavia and speak about arresting war criminals and mass grave exhumation.

For the details see link below. 

www.upol.cz/nc/kalendar/akce/cal/2021/12/06/event/tx_cal_phpicalendar/4023/

Scientific Prize Awarded to our Member

We are pleased to announce that our member, dr. Petr Stejskal, has been awarded Jacques Derrida Prize for Social and Humanitarian Sciences by the French Embassy in Prague and Karel Janeček Foundation. His research focused on the protection of foreign investment during armed conflict ranked second place in the competition. The evaulating committee appreciated innovative attitude towards research, topicality of examined topics and international significance. The award includes financial support for a one month stay at a scientific institution in France. Congratulations!

Cyber Incident Scenario part of NATO CCDCOE Interactive Cyber Law Toolkit

Hybrid threats are closely related to cyberspace and cannot be omitted in modern warfare and security assessment. Our members, Martin Faix and Petr Stejskal, prepared a  scenario on “Misattribution caused by deception” for the Cyber Law Toolkit project. The project is supported by the NATO Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCDCOE), NÚKIB and the ICRC.

Hybrid threats, information operations and deception are closely related to cyberspace and cannot be omitted in modern warfare and security assessment. Members of the Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law, Martin Faix and Petr Stejskal, prepared an expert contribution for the Cyber Law Toolkit operated under the auspices of the NATO CCDCOE, ICRC, NÚKIB, US Nawal War College and several other expert bodies. Their analysis focused on cyber deception in international law. Publication of new scenarios for the Cyber Law Toolkit was announced at the 2021 CyberCon conference in Brno.

The Cyber Law Toolkit is an online resource for legal professionals who work with matters at the intersection of international law and cyber operations. At its core, it presently consists of 24 hypothetical scenarios. Each scenario contains a description of cyber incidents inspired by real-world examples, accompanied by detailed legal analysis.

The scenario prepared by our members formulates a model scenario of a cyber deception followed by misattribution and cyber attack against critical infrastructure. The topic chosen reflects the increasing sophistication of hostile cyber incidents and raises challenging legal questions.

 

Photo licensed from Shutterstock (original URL)

 

Our external expert Martha M. Bradley published new article in recent issue of International Review of the Red Cross

We are pleased to announce that external expert of CIHOL, Martha M. Bradley, recently published article Additional Protocol II: Elevating the minimum threshold of intensity? in last issue of International Review of the Red Cross. Congratulations!

Our external experts Martha M. Bradley and Aniel de Beer published new article in recent issue of Stellenbosch Law Review

We are pleased to announce that external experts of CIHOL, Martha M. Bradley and Aniel de Beer, recently published article The Collective Responsibility of Organised Armed Groups for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence during a Non-International Armed Conflict in last issue of Stellenbosch Law Review. Non-International Armed Conflicts are long-term research field of Dr. Bradley so if You are interested be sure to check her previous publications. 

National Security Council Award granted to UP Faculty of Law

The Palacký University Olomouc Faculty of Law is the laureate of the 2020 National Security Council Award for significant contribution to the security policy of the Czech Republic, decided at its Monday meeting. In this way, the Council thus appreciated the long-term and progressive work of the faculty in matters of security and in the field of international humanitarian and operational law. Read more

Dr. Aniel de Beer, external expert member of CIHOL, achieves the prestigious ASIL Lieber Prize

Our external expert, dr. Aniel de Beer, has achieved the Lieber Prize. Francis Lieber Prize granted by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) is an annual award for the author of an exceptional book or an article in the field of the law of armed conflict. Dr. de Beer won with her book 'Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens) and the Prohibition of Terrorism' which is based on her doctoral thesis completed in 2018.

The Lieber Society is focal point of ASIL for the study and dissemination of the law of armed conflict (or international humanitarian law) and other areas of public international law related to the conduct of military operations. The Lieber Society facilitates dialogue by bringing together academics and governmental and non-governmental practitioners, civilian and military, from the United States and throughout the world, by sponsoring panels at the ASIL Annual Meetings, publishing a quarterly newsletter, co-sponsoring symposia, and by the informal sharing and critiquing of ideas, research and papers.

ICC´s Contribution to the Development and Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law conference

Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law and Faculty of Law Palacký University Olomouc organize conference focused on contribution of the International Criminal Court to the developing and enforcement of international humanitarian law. The conference was originally scheduled for May 21 – 22, 2020, however in light of the coronavirus pandemic the conference has been postponed. New dates will be announced at the beginning of June. The conference is supported by the European Society of International Law and the International Law Association. Further details are available on https://ihl.upol.cz/.

New article published by external experts of the Centre

Dr. Martha Bradley and dr. Aniel de Beer are authors of the article “All Necessary and Reasonable Measures – The Bemba Case and the Threshold for Command Responsibility”, which has been published in the International Criminal Law Review. This article evaluates the meaning of “all necessary and reasonable measures” in the context of command responsibility and considers whether Bemba met this threshold in order to avoid incurring criminal responsibility under Article 28(a)(ii). Authors take a different position than the Appeals Chamber decision and gives strong arguments why Bemba shouldn´t be discharged of his duty of commander responsibility.

International Criminal Review publishes in-depth analytical research that deals with the substantive and procedural law on the international level, important cases which have a bearing on general issues, but also criminological, sociological and historical issues.

Millitary Intelligence in practice – a lecture

Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law, affiliated to the Department of International and European Law at the Law Faculty, Palacky University, organizes a lecture on Military Intelligence in practice (tasks of the military intelligence, career opportunities for a prestigious service etc.). The guest of the lecture is Jaroslav Zobač who served as a chief of the Department of Fight against Extremism and Terrorism and of the Department of Military Counterintelligence.

 

The lecture is open to students of the Law Faculty and to all that are interested in the topic.

Poster

Petr Stejskal, a member of the CIHOL, conducting research at the University of Johannesburg

Petr Stejskal, PhD student of European and international law and member of the CIHOL, is now on a research stay in South Africa. From September 2019, Petr is conducting a research on international law of transboundary water resources at the partner University of Johannesburg under the supervision of prof. Hennie Strydom, head of the South African Research Chair in International Law.

 

In particular, he is analysing the state practice and opinio iuris of states on the rule of equitable utilisation of transboundary water resources, together with corresponding procedural obligation to cooperate. The management of transboundary groundwater is insufficiently regulated by international law. At the same time, many of transboundary aquifers are underlying territories of states where the risk of escalation and conflict is high or where these states are already engaging in a conflict. Defective utilisation of water resources may therefore cause conflicts between states and be a driving force of migration. Not only for these reasons, the topic of the law of transboundary groundwater is on the agenda of the UN General Assembly this month. Given the scarce regulation in international treaties, it is pertinent to ask whether customary international norm of equitable utilisation has already evolved as an important element of prevention of conflicts between states.

In addition to his research, Petr is given great opportunities to engage in several other activities. At the Research Chair, he attended a seminar where international legal experts discussed the legal regime of drone strikes. Petr will have its own contribution at the Chair as he will introduce to its members the outcomes of his doctoral research (protection of foreign investments in armed conflict). He will also present results of his research at the University of Pretoria. Together with other researchers from the Chair, Petr will also attend the annual conference of the African Society of International Law in Durban.

This research stay is part of the fruitful cooperation between the two universities. Several international law experts, including professor Strydom, had already visited the Palacký University Faculty of Law and participated in the activities of the CIHOL.

The Centre has been inaugurated

Faculty of Law and the Czech Armed Forces officially affirmed and strengthened their long-standing cooperation as the Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law (CIHOL) has been inaugurated. It will operate under the auspices of the Department of international and European law. Its specialization and interconnection of academia and military environment makes the Centre unique in the Central European context.

 

Ceremonial presentation and launch of its activities took place in the Chamber Hall of the Palacký University Arts Centre on June 20. The ceremony was attended by almost 50 guests, including the chief members of the Faculty of Law, chief members of the military, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or partner non-governmental organisations. "Establishment of the Centre is an outcome of a long-term cooperation, so it already has something to build upon, and I believe that it has bright prospects for its future work. I wish to those who are involved in its operation that they further develop and enhance mutual cooperation and enjoy their work," said Zdenka Papoušková, The Dean of the Faculty of Law.

In particular, she expressed her gratitude to Vice-dean Martin Faix and lieutenant colonel Otakar Foltýn for their work as two founding members of the Centre. She also thanked to brigadier general Pavel Kolář, Director of the Special Forces Directorate of the Ministry of Defence & Armed Forces, and to Václav Stehlík, Head of the Department of International and European Law to which CIHOL will belong.

The significance of the Centre has been remarked by Pavel Kolář in his speech. "In the long run, I am convinced that the military has to stay in touch with society, especially in the area of education. Establishment of the Centre is a great example of how to mutually benefit from the knowledge of academics and practical experience of soldiers."

Pavel Kolář — Statement on the occasion of opening and launching the CIHOL

Faculty of Law deepens its cooperation with the Czech Army as new joint centre was opened

The opening ceremony of the Centre for International Humanitarian and Operational Law (CIHOL) took place on Thursday, June 20. The centre is founded under the auspices of Department of international and European law of the Faculty of Law as the next step in its long-term cooperation with the Army of the Czech Republic.

 

“We established the Centre with aim not only to create an institutional framework for further development of mutual cooperation, including research and teaching activities, but also to create an environment for innovative ideas and activities of experts coming from academia and military in area of international humanitarian law and other fields related to security sector and use of force. These settings make CIHOL unique in Central Europe,” Martin Faix from Department of international and European law explained.

Petr Stejskal gathered experience in New York, working in the service of the state at the UN headquaters

Very eventful with regard to getting experience from abroad, maximally beneficial, but also demanding and unexpectedly diverse. This is how Petr Stejskal describes his doctoral studies in European and international law. Being the first from the law faculty in Olomouc, he conducted an internship at the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York this year.

 

Petr Stejskal is a graduate of the Master´s in law at the Law Faculty of the Palacký University and is a doctoral student in the third year. “Petr is an example of how to ideally connect personality traits and studying predispositions with the possibilities offered and supported by both the university and faculty – namely the flexibility of our doctoral program and opportunities to travel abroad,” said Martin Faix, Vice-dean for international affairs.

During last two years, Petr Stejskal conducted an internship in The Hague, obtained an LL.M. degree at the University of Amsterdam, wrote academic papers, conducted an internship at the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in Geneva, attended the Winter Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law and, finally, conducted an internship at the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN in New York.

Internships at permanent missions are among the most prestigious. He worked in New York for three months on interesting tasks and followed important meetings and sessions. “My supervisor was in charge of the agenda of the fight against terrorism and organized crime, international sanctions, the law of the sea or protocol, to give examples,” Petr described. The most interesting experience for him was his participation in the meetings of relevant UN bodies and agencies which sought to respond to the new threats of terrorism. He also observed preparation of the UN General Assembly resolution on the protection of victims of terrorism or the Security Council´s meeting where resolution for combatting the financing of terrorism has been adopted.

Petr has quite ambitious plans also for the second half of the year. He will sit for a final doctoral exam, conduct a research stay via Erasmus+ mobility at a partner university in Johannesburg and he would also like to finish his dissertation thesis.

Faculty of Law has its first graduate in English doctoral degree study program

The historically first student of European and International Law in English doctoral degree study program Theoretical legal sciences has graduated at the Faculty of Law. Tuomas Heikkinen from Helsinki, Finland, successfully defended his dissertation thesis dealing with unified standard of IHL application in multinational military operations.

 

Tuomas worked on his dissertation thesis under the supervision of Martin Faix from Department of international and European law. “I appreciate the expertise of academics participating in the program and their personal approach. I have always had an excellent base for my study here at the faculty. Moreover, Olomouc is a great student city with many possibilities,” Tuomas highlighted.

The doctoral degree study program European and International Law is conceived as highly selective.

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