The project will approach different themes and will involve six targeted expert seminars:
Ending of conflict and conflict termination
Armed conflicts are, in reality, not as clearly defined as the legal categories. The protracted nature of modern conflicts and the involvement of numerous armed groups and factions makes it difficult to determine the definitive point in time when the laws of war begin and cease to operate. The seminar will seek to identify indicatoes for the ending of conflict and guidelines for conflict termination.
Interplay between international humanitarian law and human rights
International humanitarian law and human rights are considered to apply simultaneously in armed conflict. This creates conflicts in a number of areas: use of force in peace operations, detention, law enforcement. The seminar will identify how these bodies of law intersect in post-conflict situations, and how conflicts between the two can be resolved.
Local ownership and foreign authority
Jus ad bellum and jus in bello are largely based on top-down approaches and constraints on warring factions. Jus post bellum, however, is typically directed towards the restoration of public authority or the empowerment of domestic constituencies. The seminar will explore how foreign or transitional authority can be reconciled most effectively with political reconstruction and sustainable self-government (e.g., transfer of authority, timing of elections).
Reconstruction and rule of law reform
International standard-setting and internationalisation of national law have become integral to the management of post-conflict relations. This methodology may conflict with domestic values and the essence of democratic self-governance. The project will investigate methods to reconcile law reform initiatives with ‘local ownership’ and domestic internalization of norms.
Individual criminal responsibility
The tension between accountability and demobilization is a recurring problem in peace negotiations. The seminar will identify institutional and procedural options to reconcile distinct prerogatives, such as criminal responsibility, truth and reconciliation in peace settlements (e.g., through targeted prosecution, forum choices, alternative forms of justice, mitigation of sentences).
Allocation of property rights
Allocation of housing and property rights is one of the preconditions for reintegration and return of displaced persons. The right to return of displaced persons may conflict with acquired rights or obstacles to restitution or compensation (e.g., lack of public record). The pillar will identify best practices in relation to property allocation based on experiences in contemporary claim proceedings (e.g., Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq).