16.12.2018
RAU Hosted Traditional International Conference on IHL
 
On December 13-15, the 11th International Conference for Young Researchers on International Humanitarian Law titled 150th Anniversary of St. Petersburg Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles: Same Relevance, New Times took place at Russian-Armenian University. The big academic event in the field of IHL is traditionally organized jointly by the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Armenia and RAU Department of International and European Law.
 
Each year, young scholars from different parts of the world gather at RAU in Armenia to engage in an exciting academic discussion on contemporary issues and perspectives related to International Humanitarian Law (IHL) development. 
 
The 11th IHL Conference embraced the following sessions: Principles of Weapons Use: Origins, Evolution, New Legal and Tactical Reading; Health Care in Danger - Protection of Health Workers and Infrastructure, Increased Needs of Strengthening the Efforts There; Missing Persons: Physiological, Social, Legal Aspects of Dealing with the Past; Movies and IHL; Rule of Proportionality in IHL: Military and Legal Approaches.
 
Head of RAU Department of International and European Law Lilit Yeremyan, Ph.D., opened the Conference with words of welcome. She emphasized that it was a privilege to host the 11th Anniversary IHL Conference for Young Researchers, “It has been more than a decade that the RAU and ICRC together with researchers all over the world mark important events related to the development of international humanitarian law - this year the Conference is dedicated to the 150th Anniversary of St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868.”
 
The 11th IHL Conference gathered participants from Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Greece, Iran, Italy, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine. The Conference attendees are given a great opportunity to meet international experts, gain knowledge, as well as to meet their peers from different countries and create a professional network. 
 
RAU Vice-Rector for Science Prof. Pargev Avetisyan in his welcoming speech highlighted the significance of research into IHL at Russian-Armenian University as a field that continuously attracts young researchers and wished the Conference participants to have a fruitful discussion in a creative atmosphere.
 
This year, among the Conference guests were Dr. Elzbieta Mikos-Skuza, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Warsaw, Poland and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Natolin; Andrey Kozik, Secretary-General of International Law and Arbitration Association (BILA), Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, Associate Professor at KIMEP University; Mr. Michael J. Strauss, Ph.D., professor of International Relations at the Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques in Paris; Ms. Anastasia Kushleyko, Regional Legal Advisor for the integration and promotion of international humanitarian law (IHL) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the ICRC.
 
Elaborating on the topic of the 2018 Conference edition, Ms. Anastasia Kushleyko, Regional Legal Advisor for the integration and promotion of international humanitarian law (IHL) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the ICRC, said, “Written in a beautiful diplomatic language of the time, St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 became in a way prophetical for the International Humanitarian Law. With that, there is a need to return to it today”. She also mentioned the successful turning out of the IHL Conference, “Academic partnership and friendship can become the origin of our development, we can see now the results of the past 10 years of collaboration - our participants have tremendously grown academically and professionally”.
 
Since 2007, the International Conference for Young Researchers on International Humanitarian Law brings young researchers to discuss issues related to human rights violation, conflict resolution and international humanitarian and criminal law, military implications and the prospects of IHL development.

 

 


St. Petersburg Declaration: Victory of humanity in war

150 years ago, the St. Petersburg Declaration was signed. The most influential States of the time agreed to ban bullets which explode upon touching a human body, causing extreme injuries and suffering. For the very first time in history the use of inhumane weapon was officially renounced.

The Declaration also stated important principles of humanity in times of war. This later became key for the development of the international humanitarian law as we know it today.

The St. Petersburg Declaration set out 3 fundamental principles that are still valid today: the principle of distinction, the principle of proportionality, the prohibition of unnecessary suffering. It also proclaimed that at some point military necessity must yield to requirements of humanity.

Read the full text of the St. Petersburg Declaration.