Category: Law and Ethics

Assisted Return Not a Permanent Solution for All Asylum Seekers

Many asylum seekers who choose assisted return are from a country destroyed by war and conflict. More than half of those who return to countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq plan to migrate again. Assisted return is a viable type of support to assist with the return, but is not sufficient to prevent large numbers… Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal is Costly – Especially for the Refugees

The agreement reflects the EU’s self-interest just as much as Turkey’s, but takes little account of the interests and rights of the refugees. On Friday 18 March, Turkey and the EU concluded a deal designed to put an end to refugees’ use of the sea route to travel from Turkey to Greece, because the route… Read more »

The Iranian Nuclear Issue

I have been tracking the Iranian nuclear issue for about ten years. Important in its own right, this issue also has significant implications for the international agenda on nuclear weapons disarmament. Let it be noted at the outset that the expression in question – “Iranian Nuclear Issue” – is a freighted one; it suggests the problem… Read more »

Why Not Nuke ISIS?

Last week I received a call from a journalist doing background research for an article.  The journalist wanted to know whether I thought a nuclear weapon could be used against ISIS. I was admittedly surprised at this question.  But apparently the journalist queried me about this issue because others are asking about it as well…. Read more »

What’s Wrong with the Idea that ‘Robots don’t Rape’?

The politics of rape denunciation is fast becoming the politics of lobbyists, vendors and military manufacturers seeking access to new customers and markets. The recognition of wartime rape as a fundamental violation of international law has been a hard-fought victory. Ending rape and other forms of sexual violence in war ought to be a central… Read more »

We are being Put to the Test

We must both take in refugees and preserve our culture and way of living. A flood of migrants is coming to Europe. They are fleeing chaos and war. They are from all levels of society. The vast majority would have remained in their homelands if they had been able. But as a result of violence,… Read more »

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Killing the ‘Robots-don’t-Rape’ Argument

Earlier this spring, we debated a law professor who insisted that lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS) could clean up war. The professor posited that a war fought with autonomous weapons would be a war without rape. Taking humans out of the loop would, the argument goes, lead to more humane war. We find this narrative, where… Read more »

From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: Transition from Humanitarian Crisis through Law Reform?

What are the challenges of responding to displacement as a problem of transitional justice? In the Colombian context, pervasive violent conflict coexists with constitutional democracy. In recent years, the legal framework for dealing with internal displacement has been altered by the 2011 Victims’ Law. Based on newly published work on Colombia, this blog post discusses… Read more »