Special presentation: Are counterterrorism approaches eroding the foundational humanitarian compromise of IHL?

Special presentation: Are counterterrorism approaches eroding the foundational humanitarian compromise of IHL?

Impartial wartime medical care for the enemy is at the root of international humanitarian law (IHL). Indeed, in key respects, protections for medical assistance for wounded and sick fighters hors de combat could be considered a — and perhaps the — foundational humanitarian compromise of the laws of war. Yet, increasingly, counterterrorism approaches, at the U.N. Security Council and in a number of states, are recasting medical care as impermissible support to designated terrorists. To date, this slow potential erosion of an IHL normative pillar has occurred largely without public debate.

In a special presentation in Geneva and online, Dustin Lewis, Senior Researcher at the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (HLS PILAC) and longtime expert contributor to several PHAP events and initiatives, will present the Program’s latest research on the intersections between counterterrorism laws and approaches and the protection of impartial wartime medical care in IHL.

NB: The views expressed in this event are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of PHAP or the organisations with which these individuals are associated. Participants are attending this informal event in their personal capacity.

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