Martin Faix, Head of the CIHOL, was invited to present a lecture on the "International Law Aspects of Developments in Ukraine after 2014" at the annual meeting of the Czech Armed Forces´ Legal Service. The meeting of some 60 military lawyers took place at the Chateau Komorní Hrádek and was a great opportunity to enhance the cooperation between CIHOL and the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic.
Members of the Centre, dr. Martin Faix, dr. Petr Stejskal and dr. Marko Svicevic, actively participated in the assembly of the legal service of the 53rd regiment of reconnaissance and electronic warfare of the Czech Armed Forces.
The director of the Centre, dr. Faix, introduced the tasks and functions of the Centre. Dr. Stejskal contributed with lecture on the topic of the belligerent occupation (treatment of protected persons, duties of the occupation administration, operational challenges). Dr. Svicevic then contributed with lecture on the topic of crimes under international law (their classification and distinction, especially during armed conflict).
The CIHOL, in collaboration with the Institute for International Law and International Relations at the Faculty of Law of the University of Graz, are accepting papers and panel proposals for an ESIL supported conference to take place on 14–15 September 2023 in Olomouc, the Czech Republic. The conference will examine selected issues pertaining to the jus ad bellum. The conference will also include selected poster submissions on the teaching of international law on the use of force.
Call for papers/panels/posters and all relevant information is available at: www.force.upol.cz
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):
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 statement assesses the situation from the point of view of international law. It is available in Czech and English version.
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
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!
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)
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