The 17th Annual Minerva Conference on International Humanitarian Law
The War against Ukraine and IHL
Jerusalem, 13-14 November 2022
The Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is organizing an international conference that seeks to evaluate the state of the discipline of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) following the dramatic events that have transpired during and in connection with the war in Ukraine.
The conference, the seventeenth in the series of Minerva annual international conferences on IHL, will take place on 13-14 November 2022, in Jerusalem. The format is currently planned to be in-person. Should the pandemic make this unfeasible, the conference will shift to an online format on these dates.
Recipients of this call for papers are invited to submit proposals to present a paper at the conference. Authors of selected proposals may be offered full or partial flight and accommodation expenses.
Submission deadline: 1 August 2022
The Russian military attack on Ukraine, launched on 24 February 2022, represented a serious escalation of the Russian and Russian-supported military operations in Ukraine. The new phase of the armed conflict involved inter-state fighting at a scale not seen in Europe in decades. This included, inter alia, extensive bombings of military and civilian objects; use of controversial weapons, means and methods of warfare; fighting in and around a nuclear power station; massive displacement of civilian population; summary executions; the taking of prisoners of war; and the killing of journalists. A host of legal questions pertaining to the conflict have been discussed in professional settings, including questions relating to the continued relevance of the distinction between jus ad bellum and jus in bello; the role of third-party states that have supported the military efforts of both Ukraine and Russia; the duty to provide humanitarian corridors for evacuation from combat zone; rules on naval blockade and rights of passage; and the legal status of volunteer troops.
The nature and scope of the violence in Ukraine – and the specific context, involving an invasion of one state by a neighbouring state (an act which the UN General Assembly qualified as aggression) – invite an assessment of the adequacy of IHL norms and enforcement mechanisms in international armed conflict situations. Some factors – the involvement of a permanent member of the Security Council, the broad international agreement on the illegality of the initial use of force, and the massive international mobilization in support of the attacked state, including the provision of military assistance, and sanctions against the attacking state – raise unique considerations and complications.
The conference seeks to discuss the main lessons that can be derived from the Ukraine war in relation to the application of IHL and other related bodies of law, with respect to this armed conflict, as well to other armed conflicts around the world. It will also explore whether and which reforms in law and in the institutional framework that supports it are required, whether the events in Ukraine invite a reassessment of the approach taken in connection to other conflicts around the world (including, in the Middle East), and how to deal with clashes between international law and raw political and military power.
The conference organizers invite proposals to present papers dealing with any of the following questions:
- The laws of belligerency and neutrality revisited
- A corridor to where? The law governing humanitarian corridors from Ukraine combat zones
- IHL and installations containing dangerous forces
- Weapon control and the use of indiscriminate weapons, means and methods of warfare in the Ukraine war
- New insights about the law protecting POWs
- “The water front”: Maritime warfare in and around the Ukraine war
- War as a crime: The implications of the qualification of the Russian military operation as act of aggression for IHL and beyond
- Lessons from the cyberwarfare and social media campaign accompanying the Ukraine war
- Human rights law and institutions and the war in Ukraine
- Law of siege warfare and starvation as a method of warfare revisited
- The role of fact-finding mechanisms in promoting the implementation of IHL
- IHL and the international sanctions against Russia
- The use of mercenaries
- The legal status of volunteer fighters
- Application of command responsibility in accountability mechanisms
- Threatening the use of nuclear weapons: legal implications
The organizers also welcome proposals on other relevant and contemporary issues relating to the topic of the conference, including lessons from the war on Ukraine and from other international conflicts.
Researchers and practitioners interested in addressing the issues above are invited to respond to this call for papers with a 1-2 page proposal for an article and presentation, along with a brief CV. Proposals should be submitted at http://gss.huji.ac.il, no later than 1 August 2022.
Note that in order to apply, applicants must first create an account on the website. Once the account has been created, the “17th Annual Minerva IHL Conference” can be found under the category "General and Cross-Faculty Applications". For questions regarding the application process, please contact: email@example.com.
Applicants should expect notification of the committee's decision by 15 August 2022. Written contributions (of approximately 20 pages) based on the selected proposals will be expected by 30 October 2022.
The Minerva Center’s Israel Law Review (a Cambridge University Press publication) is interested in publishing selected full length papers based on conference presentations, subject to its standard review and editing procedures.
Conference Academic Committee:
Prof. Yuval Shany, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Chair); Dr. Einat Albin, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Tomer Broude, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Mr. Danny Evron, Minerva Center for Human Rights, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Guy Harpaz, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. David Kretzmer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Prof. Yaël Ronen, Israel Law Review, Hebrew University of Jerusalem