This workshop will bring together approximately twenty international law experts and practitioners to thoroughly discuss and debate the law governing where belligerents may conduct hostilities during armed conflict, with particular focus on Non-International Armed Conflict (NIAC) and territories of non-belligerent states. This topic is at the crossroads of many unsettled or ambiguous areas of international law, including characterization of conflict; thresholds of armed conflict; status of non-state actors/organized armed groups; state responsibility and the “unable or unwilling” standard; the immediacy criterion of self-defense; applicability of human rights law; and others. The end state of the workshop is that the participants have significantly furthered the research on this important international law topic and the International Law Department (ILD) has published a professional resource volume containing a detailed report of the workshop and scholarly articles on various specialized areas of the topic. The products produced will inform U.S. government agencies and help shape key international decisions.
ILD will host the workshop in the Decision Support Center (DSC), which is a state-of-the-art facility designed to support collaborative research. The DSC is equipped with computers and WebIQ, software which allows simultaneous and anonymous input and statistical analysis of the data. The venue will allow each participant to bring his or her unique expertise to bear on this complex topic and engage in exchange of information and opinions without filters.
This workshop will support the U.S. Naval War College’s mission to help the CNO define the future Navy and its roles and missions. The current ambiguity of international law presents an operational and strategic challenge to U.S. forces facing organized armed groups operating out of safe havens or uncontrolled sanctuaries in belligerent states.