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Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions - Conference

The Goettingen Journal of International Law is pleased to announce that we will take part in a conference in November 2018. The joint research project of the Institute of International and European Law of the University of Göttingen and the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law will be holding this conference in Göttingen, Germany under the title “Unpacking Economic and Social Rights: International and Comparative Dimensions”. The conference is a culmination of a joint research project directed by Prof. Tomer Broude and Prof. Andreas L. Paulus and examines economic and social rights from a comparative perspective, looking at German, Israeli and European legal systems and their respective constitutional, legislative and jurisprudential experiences, as well as the universal human rights framework under the auspices of the United Nations. In addition to this call, Prof. Paulus and Prof. Broude, junior researchers of the project and associate and invited scholars will present their research at the conference.

Scholars who work on economic and social rights are invited to submit abstracts. The proceedings of the conference and papers presented will be published in one of our upcoming issues. See the call for papers and the conference website for more details.

Deadline for submission of Abstracts: 1 June 2018. Accepted proposals will be notified by 1 July 2018. Full papers due for submission by 1 November 2018.

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The Notions of the Responsibility to Protect and the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Detecting Their Association and Its Impact Upon International Law

Raphaël van Steenberghe



The article focuses on the recent trend evidenced in United Nations and State practice towards associating the responsibility to protect with the protection of civilians in armed conflict. It analyzes whether such a trend is well-founded by shedding light on the common and distinct features of the two notions. In addition, it examines the normative impacts of such association on international law, mainly on international humanitarian law since the protection of civilians in armed conflict is founded upon this law. The article concludes that, although the responsibility to protect and the protection of civilians in armed conflict share similar features, such as the ultimate objective that they pursue and the general content of their protection, a closer look reveals significant differences between the two notions, mainly due to their specific underlying logic. It observes that their association has precisely led to export the reaction aspects peculiar to the responsibility to protect into the field of the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Such association may have the potential not only to influence the nature of the responsibility to protect by enabling it to evolve from a political to a legal concept, but also and more probably to have an impact on international humanitarian law. This could have the advantage of both clarifying and putting the accent on the possibility and necessity of coercive intervention of the international community in case of violations of the international humanitarian law rules related to the protection of civilians. However, such evolution is not without risk for this law. In particular, it may affect its neutral nature or lead to conflate the primary and collective responsibility that it provides with the ones under the responsibility to protect.



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