On Thursday 29th May 2014, the Adelaide Law School co-hosted with the Australian Red Cross (ARC) and the Swiss based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) a panel presentation event dealing with the topic of ‘New Approaches to Preventing International Humanitarian Law Violations’. The Panel featured local and international experts and was welcomed to the Law School by Associate Professor Melissa DeZwart (Acting Dean).
The Panel itself included:
Mr Vincent Bernard, Head of Integration and Promotion of the Law Forum ICRC
Mr Christian Rouffaer, Head of Virtual Training Tools Project, ICRC
Dr. Dale Stephens CSM, Associate Professor, University of Adelaide
Lieutenant Colonel Darleen Young, Australian Defence College
Moderated by Leonard Blazeby, Head of Mission, ICRC Australia
The panel voiced different perspectives on how to ensure better compliance with International Humanitarian Law (‘IHL’). Mr Vincent Bernard spoke about the value of the ICRC sponsored ‘Roots of Behavior in War’ study that emphasized the value of normative law and a correlative discipline system to ensure better compliance. LTCOL Young addressed the issue of highly realistic simulation exercises and the use of iterative vignettes in the training of ADF personnel for deployment to armed conflict. Mr Christian Rouffaer spoke about initiatives being undertaken in the video gaming area where a high profile company has agreed to work with the ICRC to include IHL legal norms within its scoring and game play criteria. Dr Dale Stephens spoke about the advantages and processes that lead to the internalization of IHL norms within a constructed military identity and the value that such a focused strategy might offer.
The audience were quick to ask questions about the harmonization and effectiveness (or not) of the methods canvassed during the presentation. The audience comprised senior members of the ARC (including the Patron of the ARC SA – Mrs Val Broadbent AM), members of the ADF Legal Reserve, numerous undergraduate and postgraduate students and members of the public.
We would like to thank everyone who attended as well as our co-sponsors the Australian Red Cross (in particular Ms Helen Connolly and Ms Petra Ball) and the ICRC (including Ms Mariya Nikolova and Ms Netta Goussac).
We look forward to offering more co-sponsored events on themes like this in the future.
*Photos courtesy of ICRC.