Conflict Law Centre at RSIL

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The Conflict Law Centre at the Research Society of International Law, Pakistan was established in September 2015 with the aim of studying Pakistan’s domestic law applicable to situations of armed hostilities and enhancing the capacity of State actors in relation to the State’s international legal obligations under International Humanitarian Law (IHL). Against the backdrop of several internal military operations to counter militancy and terrorism in the country, it was felt that a dedicated research unit was urgently needed to assess the effectiveness of domestic law. This included exploring the Constitutional mandate afforded to the Armed Forces of Pakistan under the rubric of Article 245 in relation to ‘actions in aid of civil power’, as well as law enforcement powers available under Pakistan’s counter-terrorism laws.

The on-going fight against terrorism and militancy in the country raises interesting questions in relation to the extent of powers of the Armed Forces and Civil Armed Forces, whether deployed in the Federally or Provincially Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan (FATA/PATA) or in urban centers of Sindh and Punjab. The Centre’s research has focused on issues concerning the determination of the status of hostilities in particular regions, the application of human rights in such contexts, the legal treatment of fighters, issues of preventive detention, cyber warfare, Air Combat Operations, the establishment of military courts, the role of the judiciary in adjudicating upon issues of armed conflict and terrorism, protection of health care professionals, as well as a range of other issues concerning the application of IHL in Pakistan.

The Centre’s research has been published both independently as well as in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The following is a list of previous publications by the Centre:

1) The Legal Implications of Adopting a Conflict Paradigm.
2) Understanding International Humanitarian Law: A Primer on IHL and Pakistan’s Domestic Law.
3) Preventive Detention: A Guide to Pakistan’s Operations.
4) Manual on Targeting in Air Combat Operations during Non-International Armed Conflicts.
5) Human Rights and Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Legislative Landscape.
6) Towards Protecting Health Care in Karachi: A Legal Review.
7) Benchbook on International Law for the Judiciary in Pakistan.
8) Handbook on Police Law and Criminal Procedure.

The Centre is headed by Director, Muhammad Oves Anwar, with research teams based in RSIL’s Offices in Islamabad and Lahore.

For further information please visit: www.rsilpak.org or email Mr. Oves Anwar, Director, CLC at: ovesanwar@rsilpak.org