About

My work is related to understanding the morality and politics underlying international humanitarian law (IHL). In particular, I am interested in the impact the conceptual shift away from a sovereignty-oriented approach to a people-centered approach has had on the law’s humanitarian goals. Prior to the 20th century, the overwhelming concern of what was then called the law of war was with the rights of belligerents and ensuring reciprocity between states at war. Though the rules of conduct during war (the jus in bello) had made several advances during this time, these laws would break down under the strain of the politically motivated mass army and total war leading many in the aftermath of the two World Wars to see war as a human tragedy rather than a legitimate tool of national policy. After the Second World War, as intra-state conflict became more prevalent and though international law still favoured states over insurgents, one type of insurgency did gain legal recognition: the struggle for national liberation. While some see this as a proper extension of IHL others, such as myself, interpret it as ideology creeping into what ought to be straightforward matters of law thus preventing IHL from accomplishing its humanitarian task.

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