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Mastering the Legalities of Air and Missile Warfare at the GCSP

1 October 2019
AMPLE 2019

Mastering the Legalities of Air and Missile Warfare at the GCSP

The third edition of the executive education course “Air and Missile Warfare: Navigating the Legal Dimension (Advanced AMPLE)” took place at GCSP from 18 to 20 September 2019. Led by Mr Tobias Vestner, Head of Security and Law, the course was attended by 21 participants from 17 different countries.

The diversity and breadth of expertise in the room was optimal to fully realising the “GCSP Way” to the benefit of all. The participants were all military and civilian practitioners holding senior positions in their organisations, with three different yet complementary backgrounds: a high number of pilots and air force operators who could complete their training with the legal framework applicable to air missions; an important group of diplomats and defence attachés from the permanent missions in Geneva and the diplomatic missions in Bern interested in the most recent developments of law in this domain; a group of experienced advisors from non-governmental organisations working in the field of the law of armed conflict who had the occasion to engage directly with practitioners.

The high-value professionalism of the participants combined with the knowledge of the external experts and the GCSP staff co-created a unique learning experience. The legal aspects of air and missile warfare were widely treated by Mr Tobias Vestner and Prof Dr Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, while Ms Camille Michel, Legal Advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières Operational Center in Geneva, gave an extensive overview of the currently debated issue of attacks on health care, drawing from her rich personal experience acquired in Yemen and other field missions. Finally, Mr Robert Friebe from the German Aerospace Industries Association gave cutting-edge technical insights that granted the direct engagement of the participants in a discussion on drones and lethal autonomous weapons systems, which represents without any doubt the newest frontier of air and missile warfare.

In the words of Ms Hadijatou Morki Buba, Magistrate at the High Court of Justice of the Republic of Cameroon:  “This is an excellent multidisciplinary course for policy makers, practitioners and scholars. Its facilitation, experience sharing and case study approach are fit for purpose and designed to broaden participants’ horizons and appreciation of multiplier effect of global challenges if not dealt with in an inclusive and sensitive manner. The chosen facilitators, venue and timing could not have been better”.

GCSP will continue to engage the new alumni and wishes them much success in their careers. The Security and Law Programme is proud to foster a better understanding and implementation of international law in the security realm, both through its executive education courses and its event series Security and Law: A Reality Check.