Event information

20 October 2022, 18:30-20:00

The Role of Military Legal Advisors: A Wide-Ranging Conversation with Brigadier General Dan Kuwali

Military Briefings

First Lt. Peter Cacossa directs an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter from a rooftop toward the sound of small-arms fire heard during a raid in Mosul, Iraq, April 17, 2008. First Lt. Peter Cacossa directs an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter from a rooftop toward the sound of small-arms fire heard during a raid in Mosul, Iraq, April 17, 2008.

Military legal advisors play a critical function in armed forces around the world. They advise on the legality of military operations and ensure compliance with international legal standards on all aspects related to the actions of armed forces (detention, occupation etc.). Military legal advisors also train soldiers of all ranks on the laws and regulations of armed conflict, maintain military discipline, and often serve as bridges with the civilian world, through cooperation with other branches of government or academia. In their functions, they navigate a complex web of legal instruments, policies, directives, and chains of command, and have to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Yet their role is not always easy to understand from the outside.

This Military Briefing will attempt to answer some of the questions one might have on the function and day-to-day tasks of military legal advisors and offer a glimpse into the functioning of armed forces and the specific role of law and lawyers.

Speaker

Brigadier General Dan Kuwali serves in the Malawi Defence Force as Commandant of the National Defence College. He is also a former Chief of Legal Services and Judge Advocate General, and served as Division Legal Advisor in the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).

Outside of his military assignments, Mr Kuwali is a Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University. He is also an Extraordinary Professor of International Law at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria. He also served in various capacities in the Malawi University of Science and Technology, the University of Lilongwe, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the U.S. Army War College, and the African Bar Association.

Mr Kuwali’s work and research interests span a spectrum of issues ranging from global security, policy, and strategy to international law and international relations, including international criminal law, human rights and humanitarian law.

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.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

IHL in Focus Launch Meeting News

Opening Expert Meeting For 'IHL in Focus' Project

22 April 2024

To kick-start the activities of the 'IHL in Focus' project and refine its approach, a two-day expert meeting of representative practitioners and scholars from different disciplines was convened.

Read more

A session of the PhD Forum News

The PhD Forum: Promoting Exchanges Among Peers

18 April 2024

The Geneva Academy PhD Forum is a space that gathers PhD researchers and experts – in Geneva and beyond – who work in the scientific focus area of the Geneva Academy.

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

Iraq, Mosul. View of the west bank after the war. Project

IHL in Focus

Started in January 2024

As a yearly publication, it keeps decision-makers, practitioners and scholars up-to-date with the latest trends and challenges in IHL implementation in over 100 armed conflicts worldwide – both international and non-international.

Read more

Cover of Report Publication

Artificial Intelligence And Related Technologies In Military Decision-Making On The Use Of Force In Armed Conflicts: Current Developments And Potential Implications

published on May 2024

Anna Rosalie Greipl, Neil Davison, Georgia Hinds

Read more