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The Human Rights Obligations of Non-State Armed Groups




Speaker: Dr Darragh Murray, Lecturer, University of Essex.

Location: Convocation Suite, Centenary Building.

Statements and reports by international bodies, such as the UN Security Council and UN Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-Finding Missions, increasingly indicate that non-State armed groups should respect international human rights obligations. Two immediate issues arise. First, how can armed groups be legally bound by international human rights law, and second, if armed groups are bound, how can human rights obligations be effectively placed on armed groups?

This presentation will focus on the second issue, presenting a context-dependent approach to the application of international human rights law obligations to non-State armed groups. Key considerations addressed include the continuing role of the State, the non-State status of armed groups, and the differing capacities of armed groups (i.e. compare the Continuity IRA, the Knights Templar, and Islamic State).

It is intended that the approach presented be equally applicable to other non-State actors, such as corporations. Underpinning this presentation are three understandings: first, that international law should be responsive to international reality, second, that international human rights law should apply to the benefit of all individuals, and third, that armed groups (and other entities) should be assisted in fulfilling their obligations, and that imposed obligations should be responsive to armed groups’ reality.

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When & where

1.00pm - 2.30pmWednesday 9th December 2015

Convocation Suite Centenary Building City, University of London Spencer Street London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom