Voluntary human shields

Last year a paper of mine was published in the Melbourne Journal of International Law. The paper was originally written for the ‘International Criminal Law’ unit I was studying for a Masters degree specializing in International Law at the Australian National University.

The title of the article is ‘Voluntary Human Shields, Direct Participation in Hostilities and the International Law Obligations of States’.

I’ve put up a link to the Austlii reproduction of the article, and reproduced the abstract below.

Voluntary human shields challenge accepted norms that have treated the civilian as a passive subject of, rather than an actor in, armed conflict. Later this year, the International Committee of the Red Cross will deliver a final report on the deliberations of a series of meetings held to discuss the definition of ‘direct participation in hostilities’ pursuant to Geneva Conventions III and IV and their Additional Protocols I and II. The Summary Reports of the ICRC deliberations of the meeting participants reveal that some experts consider it appropriate to class acting as a voluntary human shield as direct participation in hostilities. Some consider this classification to have altered the status of voluntary human shields  in international humanitarian law. Arguably, however, classifying voluntary human  shielding as direct participation in hostilities runs counter to international humanitarian legal principles

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