Online All Africa Course on IHL Pretoria, 25 January - 05 February 2021

International Humanitarian Law

The Pretoria Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross together with the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria will be presenting the eighteenth All Africa Course on International Humanitarian Law between 25 January and 05 February 2021.

The online course is a comprehensive introduction to the law of armed conflict and contemporary issues in International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

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Press release: Families of West African migrants seek to finally get justice after 15 years of disregard, neglect and political inaction

Version française

With legal support from the Sterling Centre for Law & Development, the families of West African migrants assisted by ANEKED, filed complaints on November 18 against the governments of Ghana and The Gambia before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice for infringing several international human rights, including the right to judicial remedies.


The Definition of an “Attack” under the Law of Armed Conflict

by Christof Heyns, Stuart Casey-Maslen, Thomas Probert

As in any branch of international law, examining the meaning of a law of armed conflict (LOAC) term, and its incorporation in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, should look first to the treaties—and “attack” is no different. Indeed, as is well known, the notion of “attacks” is explicitly defined in Article 49 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I as “acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence.” A seemingly broad definition, it is certainly clear and concise. One might thus be tempted to end an inquiry of the law there.

But in this post, we detail why such an approach would be mistaken. For it fails to consider the notion of an “attack” in Geneva Law (which protects persons and objects in the power of the enemy), which applies more broadly than does the Hague Law regulation of the conduct of hostilities. This omission is particularly serious in the context of a non-international armed conflict, where the geographical scope of hostilities is tightly circumscribed.


ICLA Professor Dire Tladi appointed as President of the SA Branch of the International Law Association

Dire Tladi

On 17 September 2020, Prof Dire Tladi was appointed to serve as the President of the South African Branch of the International Law Association (SABILA). SABILA is a chapter of the International Law Association (ILA), an organisation that brings together international lawyers from all over the world dedicated to the "study, clarification and development of international law" and the "furtherance of international understanding and the respect of international law".


Video: Developing a coherent set of international standards on the management of demonstrations

Members of the Freedom from Violence Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, have for the last five years been leading the process in the United Nations (UN) to develop a coherent set of international standards on the management of demonstrations.

In this video we trace the work Prof Christof Heyns and his team did to help develop General Comment 37 (2020) on the right of peaceful assembly with the UN Human Rights Committee; the UN Guidance on less-lethal weapons of 2020; and the Minnesota Protocol on the investigation of potentially unlawful death of 2015.