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Melanie Klinkner

In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Nikolaos Voulgaris

International organisations have emerged in the United Nations era, alongside States, as some of the most prominent actors in international law. Within a very limited time-span they have grown considerably in number but also in size. There remains nevertheless, until today, a certain ambivalence as to their lawmaking capacity in the international legal order, especially with respect to customary international law. 1 The argument has been made long ago that such institutions provide ‘shortcuts to finding custom’. 2 Decision-making procedures within such

in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
Jean d’Aspremont

the International Committee of the Red Cross’s ambiguous positions on the matter. 2 This time – and as if scholarly research agendas were determined outside academic circles – it is the provisional adoption by the International Law Commission of a specific draft conclusion on the matter that ignited this new fervour. 3 This renewed scholarly excitement for the oft-discussed question of non-State actors’ participation in custom-forming processes – and which this volume is certainly complicit in — remains in need of justifications as to whether, from the perspective

in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
General Assembly resolutions
Rossana Deplano

On 30 May 2016 the International Law Commission adopted a set of sixteen Conclusions aimed at explaining how a customary rule is formed and how it is possible to identify either an emerging or a fully formed rule of customary law. However, being the process of custom creation entirely informal and unstructured, the International Law Commission Conclusions do not, and cannot, represent an objective method for ascertaining customary rules. They thus fail to provide authoritative guidance to practitioners in the field of international organizations’ practice

in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
Catherine Akurut

perpetrators that participating in CRSV/M is considered a grave violation of the international law, and the prosecution approach should be the same as is the case in obtaining justice for CRSV against women ( Lewis, 2009 : 49). Encouraging men to speak about their CRSV experiences, particularly to the humanitarian service providers, may make them more inclined to offer the care and support they need. Therefore, the move towards a language that is vividly gender-inclusive recognises that both men

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

unlawful but European institutions are endorsing it. So SOS says: ‘No! Actually, according to international law, these are the obligations of states.’ It’s kind of a vigilante of the Mediterranean. Right now, my problem with NGOs like MSF and Save the Children and Oxfam is not what they do out in the field. It is that their staff generally don’t act as citizens. They go out to Uganda or DRC or whatever but they don’t engage with politics in their own home countries. Perhaps this is a result of the way NGO workers see themselves. My PhD research was

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Michaël Neuman, Fernando Espada, and Róisín Read

. UN Security Council ( 2019 ), ‘ Aid Operations under Increasing Threat as State, Non-State Combatants Ignore International Law, Humanitarian Affairs Chief Warns ’, Security Council, SC/13760, 8499th Meeting (PM) .

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Abstract only
Stories about international organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
Sufyan Droubi and Jean d’Aspremont

International lawyers relish telling stories about customary law, its contents, and its modes of ascertainment. There is hardly a question of international law that has continuously attracted as much passionate story-telling as customary international law. The present volume contributes to such scholarly self-indulgence. Yet, it does so by presupposing that there exists an approach to custom-forming that is adverse to the central role of international organisations and non-State actors and which it calls the dominant orthodoxy. According to this projected

in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
The Law and Politics of Responding to Attacks against Aid Workers
Julia Brooks and Rob Grace

newfound attention to the targeting of humanitarian and medical actors in conflict zones, not only in Afghanistan, but also in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, as well as renewed calls for legal accountability. As the incident highlighted, however, a notable gap exists between the lofty theoretical promise of international law – and its domestic corollaries – and the difficulties of achieving accountability in practice. On the one hand, the legal clarity of international law regarding the protection of humanitarian action in armed conflict from deliberate attack is

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector
Miriam Bradley

kind of formulation, which justifies additional measures for staff on the basis of the services they provide for others, sits uncomfortably with the principle of humanity, according to which ‘human value is based on life not utility’ ( Slim, 2015 : 56). Legal Frameworks Differences in legal status do not offer a convincing explanation of differences in security/protection strategy. International law does offer additional

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs