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Building Capacity to comply with Weapons Law and Conduct Legal Review of Weapons

GCSP organises 7th Weapons Law and the Legal Review of Weapons Course in Geneva

From 4 to 8 December 2017, GCSP welcomed 34 participants to the 7th edition of the Course in Weapons Law and the Legal Review of Weapons, led by Dr William Boothby, Associate Fellow at GCSP, and Prof Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Law Professor at Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder).

Weapons Law and the Legal Review of Weapons, running since 2011, teaches international law regulating weapons, its general principles, the existing treaty obligations and the procedures to assess the legality of new weapons. According to Article 36 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, States parties are bound to conduct a legal review when introducing new weapons, means, or methods of warfare.  GCSP supports States and other relevant actors to build their capacity to establish and execute internal review mechanisms in compliance with their international obligations.

The course hosted a variety of professionals from around the globe, including military legal advisors, officers from the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international experts working in the private sector.

According to participants, the course empowered them to:

  • Understand international obligations currently applicable to States in the weapons’ domain;
  • Better advise their Governments on the development or acquisition of new weapons;
  • Effectively conduct a legal review of weapons;
  • Develop new ideas for diplomatic initiatives related to weapons;
  • More wisely argue when communicating on weapons-related issues with governmental officials;
  • Efficiently start a new governmental position in the field of international humanitarian law.

GCSP is proud to empower States to implement their obligations and foster a better understanding of international law in the security realm through its Security and Law Programme. We will continue to engage the new GCSP alumni, and we wish them much success in their professional career.