The Round Table on current issues of international humanitarian law, traditionally organized by the Institute every year in September in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, is an international gathering very much appreciated by the international community as it offers an opportunity for periodic dialogue and debate on crucial topics of international humanitarian law.

The Sanremo Round Table, milestone of the activities of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, encourages members of scientific, diplomatic, institutional and military circles from all over the world to meet informally and to examine the more burning issues concerning the promotion of, respect for and development of international humanitarian law with an eye to the future.

More than forty years of meetings and intense academic activity addressing the main topics of humanitarian law, under the auspices of the Institute, have created what has universally become known as the “humanitarian dialogue in the spirit of Sanremo”.

The last Round Table, held in Sanremo from 6 to 8 September 2018, addressed the issue of “Deprivation of Liberty and Armed Conflicts: exploring realities and remedies”.

Deprivation of liberty, in particular in relation to armed conflicts, poses a range of humanitarian and legal challenges. In many parts of the world, persons deprived of their liberty face dire conditions of detention and ill-treatment, caused by structural shortcomings in justice and prison systems or violations of basic detainee protections. Such situations become more serious in times of armed conflicts, where States or other actors, face resource restraints and high numbers of detainees.

Below the presentations delivered at the last Sanremo Round Table (6-8 September 2018 ) on Deprivation of liberty and armed conflicts: exploring realities and remedies. The few missing will follow shorlty. 

The Round Table gathered together around 200 participants from the different regions of the world including military experts, academics and representatives of governments, international organizations, IHL practitioners  and NGOs which spent two to discuss IHL related detention key issues.

WELCOME ADDRESS

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

  • Fausto Pocar, President, International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL)
  • Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Sebastiano Cardi, Ambassador, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS

KEYNOTE ADDRESS

SESSION I

SETTING THE SCENE: THE HUMANITARIAN AND LEGAL CHALLENGES

Chair: Benoît D’Aboville, Vice-President, Foundation for Strategic Research and Policy; former Permanent Representative of France to NATO; Council Member, IIHL

SESSION II

THE LEGAL BASIS FOR DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY IN TIMES OF ARMED CONFLICT

Chair: Marie Jacobsson, Ambassador, Principal Legal Adviser on International Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden; Council Member, IIHL

SESSION III

PREVENTING ARBITRARY DETENTION: GROUNDS AND PROCEDURES FOR DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY IN TIMES OF ARMED CONFLICT

Chair: Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov, Member of the Committee Against Torture; Vice-President of the Russian Association of International Law; Member, IIHL

SESSION IV

ENSURING HUMANE TREATMENT AND CONDITIONS OF DETENTION

Chair: Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Member, IIHL

SESSION V

SPECIFIC CHALLENGES I: DETENTION AND DETAINEE TRANSFERS IN MULTINATIONAL OPERATIONS

Chair: Giorgio Battisti, Lt. General (ret.), former Commanding General of the Italian Army Training and Doctrine Command; Council Member, IIHL

SESSION VI

SPECIFIC CHALLENGES II: DETENTION BY NON-STATE ARMED GROUPS

Chair: Yoram Dinstein, Emeritus Professor, University of Tel Aviv; President of the United Nations Association of Israel; Council Member, IIHL

SESSION VII

LEGAL BOUNDARIES OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Chair: Johan Rautenbach, Legal Counsel and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, International Organization for Migration; Council Member, IIHL

SESSION VIII

STRENGTHENING DETAINEE PROTECTION

Chair: Valériane Michel, Head of International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Justice Section, Directorate of International Law, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

CLOSING WORDS

  • Helen Durham, Director of International Law and Policy, International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Fausto Pocar, President, International Institute of Humanitarian Law