Event information

11 April 2022, 18:00-19:30

Weapons Law

Military Briefings

A missile A missile

Among the many aspects of warfare it aims to regulate, international humanitarian law (IHL) establishes rules on what kind of weapons can be used on the battlefield, and how they can be used.

This is usually referred to as the prohibitions or restrictions regarding the ‘means of warfare’. In general, IHL prohibits any weapon ‘of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering’, or weapons that may have indiscriminate or excessively injurious effects--this includes biological and chemical weapons, as well as landmines to a certain extent. But while some weapons are banned altogether, some are authorized under certain circumstances. In practice, this area of the law regulating armed conflicts involves a variety of international legal instruments, ranging from the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols to specific sectoral conventions. Accordingly, given its critical impact on the battlefield, it is crucial for IHL practitioners to understand this area of law.

This Military Briefing will give an overview of the applicable legal frameworks and the contemporary challenges in this area and will also focus on recent events in the armed conflict in Ukraine.


A Captain in the French Navy reserve, Eric Steinmyller is currently the head of the Coast Guard division for the Atlantic Ocean's French area of responsibility. He is in charge of all law enforcement issues in this area, including regarding drug trafficking, piracy, illicit fishing, protection of the environment, as well as search and rescue operations. Prior to this assignment, Mr Steinmyller had a long career in the French armed forces, where he most notably served as head of the law of armed conflict section at the French Ministry of Defense, and as military adviser to the French ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament. He joined a private shipping company in 2013 as a security and safety manager. Since 2016, he is also working as a consultant and lecturer on IHL and Law of the Sea for several military and civilian institutions, especially in the Middle East.

About the Military Briefings

Military Briefings are a unique series of events relating to military institutions and the law. They aim to improve our students’ knowledge of military actors and operations and build bridges between the military and civilian worlds.


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