Event information

18 October 2021, 18:00-19:30

Opening Lecture – Respect for International Humanitarian Law in the 21st Century: Utopian Dream or Pragmatic Reality?

Event

Portrait of Dr Helen Durham Portrait of Dr Helen Durham

In this opening lecture of the 2021–2022 academic year, Dr Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will address the legal, operational and political imperative of the international community continuing to work towards the application and implementation of international humanitarian law (IHL).

Building on a range of current themes that an institution such as the ICRC needs to grapple with – from the use of new technologies in warfare to issues such as climate challenges, global responses to pandemics and increasing instances of urban warfare – the session will focus around the relevance and long-standing nature of key principles of IHL. Dr Durham’s own experience from being a field delegate to a Director within the ICRC will add a personal dimension to this presentation.

About Dr Helen Durham

Dr Helen Durham is Director of International Law and Policy at the ICRC headquarters in Geneva. In her role, she oversees a large global network of international lawyers, policy advisers, armed forces delegates, weapons specialists, sociologists, diplomats, researchers and academic experts who work towards the respect of IHL.

Dr Durham regularly represents ICRC at venues such as the United Nations (UN) Security Council and in bilateral engagements with ministers, senior government officials and military decision-makers. In the last few years, she has led a range of IHL multilateral negotiations in Geneva and travelled widely to engage with authorities on matters relating to the protection of civilians during times of armed conflict and other situations of violence.

Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia, she has an Arts and Law degree with honours (Melbourne University) and a PhD (Melbourne University with research at New York) in international law, with a focus on IHL and international criminal law.

Dr Durham has widely published on IHL topics, in particular those relating to women and armed conflict. Previously she has been a legal adviser for ICRC in the Pacific Region, Head of Office for ICRC in Australia and held a range of roles in the Australian Red Cross.

She also held the post of Director of Research for the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law at Melbourne Law School where she also lectured in international law in the Master's Programme. Dr Durham has been inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women (2014), was awarded an Australian Centenary Peacewoman (2015) and has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (2017).

Attendance

This event is reserved for our incoming students.

Location

Geneva

Access

This event is reserved for our incoming students.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Alessandra Spadaro during the defence of her PhD thesis News

Our Former Teaching Assistant Alessandra Spadaro Successfully Defended her PhD Thesis

7 June 2021

While most of the existing scholarship focuses only on security detention or internment by armed groups in non-international armed conflicts, her thesis also studies the detentions of armed group members by their own group and criminal detentions for crimes related to the conflict as well as common crimes.

Read more

View of the Gulf of Mexio from the outer space News

Winning Essay Discusses Digital Safe Havens to Protecting Civilians from Military Cyber Operations

17 June 2021

In her winning essay Digital Safe Havens: Sheltering Civilians From Military Cyber Operations, Isabelle Peart brings forward novel suggestions on how to reduce the risk of harm to civilians posed by military cyber operations.

Read more

 Taliban fighters on a truck in Kabul, August 17 2021 Event

Afghanistan

28 October 2021, 15:00-16:00

This online IHL talk aims at shining light on some of the many legal, political and protection-related challenges stemming from the situation in Afghanistan.

Read more

UNSC Session on Yemen Event

A Tale of Two Cities: Humanitarian Affairs and Multilateralism in New York and Geneva

25 October 2021, 19:00-20:30

This IHL Talk, co-organized with the International Peace Institute (IPI), aims at contrasting approaches to, and decision-making on, humanitarian affairs in the relevant multilateral fora in New York and Geneva.

Read more

Short Course

The Law of Non-International Armed Conflicts

17 March - 8 April 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

8-12 November 2021

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

Screen Shot of Obsolete, a game made for the 7DFPS project in 7 days. Download for PC and Mac Project

Disruptive Military Technologies

Started in February 2020

Via a new lecture series on disruptive military technologies, this project aims at staying abreast of the various military technology trends; promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies; and furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.

Read more

Screenshot of the RULAC webpage Project

Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC)

Started in May 2007

The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts project (RULAC) is a unique online portal that identifies and classifies all situations of armed violence that amount to an armed conflict under international humanitarian law (IHL). It is primarily a legal reference source for a broad audience, including non-specialists, interested in issues surrounding the classification of armed conflicts under IHL.

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

The UN Security Council and Common Article 1: Understanding the Role of Peacekeeping Operations in Ensuring Respect for IHL

published on October 2021

Émilie Max

Read more