Some Additional Thoughts Concerning the Necessity for Defining Terrorism, a rejoinder to the article of David Metz


Author: Zhuliyan Zhelezov - Edited by: Giacomo Toffanello

This is the first of two articles that are meant to be a rejoinder to the article published by David Metz with the title ‘Defining Terrorism: One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter’. They have the purpose to elaborate some notions and perceptions with regard to the phenomenon of terrorism. Like the article written by Davit Metz, these articles will give some suggestions towards defining terrorism. Both these articles are authored by Zhuliyan Zhelezov, a law school graduate now Master student in International Security and Law.

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Sexual violence in conflict zones: A history of the neglected war crime

Traumatized Bosnian rape victim during the war in former Yugoslavia (Photo: Antony Loyd)
Traumatized Bosnian rape victim during the war in former Yugoslavia (Photo: Antony Loyd)

Author: Sofie Rose

UN reports since mid-2014 reveal a significant increase in the number of reported cases of sexual violence perpetrated by terrorist groups in Syria. In interviews with female refugees in neighbouring countries, fear of rape is cited as a major factor influencing their flight form the Syrian Arab Republic. Moreover the atrocity of conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, sexual torture, forced marriage, and sexual slavery continues in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur) and furthermore in post-conflict zones such as, amongst others, DRC, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire[1]. To bring insight to this subject, in this article Sofie Rose, a master’s student in International Security and Law, examines the history behind the phenomenon and particularly the handling of it by the international community. The objective is to expose when it was brought to the agenda in the UN, and subsequently to identify what incidents, and/or structural changes that could have caused an increased attention to conflict related sexual violence within the international community. 

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The Use of Human Shields in International Armed Conflicts

Dangerous and invisible: A little boy stands on a military pickup outside the Daymarudi camp just outside Mogadishu. (Photo: REUTERS)
Dangerous and invisible: A little boy stands on a military pickup outside the Daymarudi camp just outside Mogadishu. (Photo: REUTERS)

Author: Irnela Silnović - Edited by: Michael R. Zieniewicz and Giacomo Toffanello

Discrimination has a special place in International Humanitarian Law; unfortunately, though, the determination of whether a person is a combatant or a civilian, crucial to understand his targetability under the Laws of Armed Conflict, is not always clear. Moreover, the use of human shields makes the situation even blurrier. Civilian life is to be spared whenever possible, making the judgement difficult of whether attacking a military goal is legal when shielded by a civilian. In this legal analysis Irnela Silnović, Master student in International Security and Law, seeks to investigate the legal status of human shields and whether human shields should merely be seen as collateral damage in an armed conflict.

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Can Peace be achieved with Military Interventions?

Norwegian Peacekeeping forces relax during an inspection (Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter/Taral Jensen)
Norwegian Peacekeeping forces relax during an inspection (Photo: Forsvarets Mediesenter/Taral Jensen)

Author: Annika Borgert - Edited by: Giacomo Toffanello and Michael R. Zieniewicz

“Si vis pacem, para bellum” can be freely translated as If you want peace, prepare for war. Maintaining or even encountering peace by the use of military means is, hence, no idea deriving from the comparably modern times of the past few centuries. But can peace be achieved with military interventions? Is the literal act of fighting for peace more than hypocrisy but a necessity instead? In this essay Annika Borgert, a Master’s Student in International Security and Law, will provide us with a comprehensive analysis on the subject.

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The legality of Barrel Bombs: A short analysis

Deadly Blasts Rip Through Aleppo, Syria (by Robert Riches on November 14, 2012 via The Loquitur)

Author: Johannes Sender

The topic of specific weapons, not being weapons of mass destruction, get little coverage in popular media. In the past years, especially under the influence of the on-going civil war in Syria, one kind of weapon appears more regularly in international media: the so-called barrel bombs, often used by the Syrian armed forces of Bashar Hafez al-Assad. This article written by Johannes Sender, Master’s Student in International Security and Law,  will provide a short analysis of barrel bombs under International Humanitarian Law (IHL), including what has to be considered for a potential legal or illegal use.

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