Breakfast Briefing with Jonathan Somer

The 2019 ICRC Report on International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts

Every four years since 2003, the International Committee of the Red Cross has published a report on International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts. The Reports are designed to stimulate debate on IHL challenges, and over the course of two decades have come to play a prominent role in shaping global IHL discourse.

The 2019 Report, sub-titled recommitting to protection in armed conflict on the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, looks at issues such as urbanization of armed conflict, new technologies of warfare, protracted conflicts, non-State armed groups in control of territory, foreign fighters, (counter)terrorism, the environment, and ‘support relationships’.

While the Report reiterates that IHL was designed for the most extreme circumstances, it warns that ‘as States interpret fundamental provisions of IHL with increasing elasticity – usually to defend the legality of an expedient course of action – they risk establishing regrettable legal precedents and enabling future actors to inflict harm beyond what is militarily necessary or tolerable to humanity.’

In this briefing, Jonathan Somer, Legal Adviser with the Danish Red Cross, will outline several of the main topics of the 2019 Report, while providing perspective on some of its most notable pronouncements.

About the speaker:

Jonathan Somer is currently Legal Adviser in IHL with the Danish Red Cross. Prior to joining the Red Cross Movement, he founded Persona Grata Consulting and worked among others with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the INGO Geneva Call. He holds an LLM from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, is a contributing editor to the Companion to International Humanitarian Law and sits on the editorial board of the Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies.  In the Danish context, he contributed to the original non-paper for the Copenhagen Process on the Handling of Detainees in International Military Operations, and worked on the English translation of the Danish Military Manual.

For participation in this event, please use this registration form no later than 5 February 2020.