The Conflict Law Centre at the Research Society of International Law, Pakistan

clcThe Conflict Law Centre was established at the Research Society of International Law, in September 2015. It is a specialized division of RSIL dedicated to the study of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in the Pakistani context. The Centre formalizes much of RSIL’s existing work in the field of IHL by dedicating a team of lawyers to undertake cutting-edge research and build capacity through various initiatives.

A primary objective of the Centre is to legally analyze law enforcement operations conducted under Article 245 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan under the legal rubric of `actions in aid of civil power’. This Constitutional space provided to Government forces raises interesting questions for the domestic application of IHL and Human Rights Law (HRL) principles to the conduct of such operations and generates a need to identify an outline of Domestic Humanitarian Law.

The current world security situation and ongoing conflicts raise unique challenges for the Government, key stakeholders, and ordinary citizens and will continue to do so for years to come. In view of this condition it was deemed necessary to provide continuity in research through the establishment of a dedicated research centre focusing on the law of conflict as understood in domestic law and under IHL. The Centre’s research hopes to assist not only the legal community but also the judiciary and other stakeholders which are faced with a myriad of legal questions arising out of these operations.

The Centre develops links with domestic and international experts in the field of IHL and HRL, as well as the wider international legal community. Research is conducted in designated areas of IHL and domestic law and is published both independently as well as in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Centre also organizes and conducts trainings, workshops, roundtables, and conferences. It liaises with the ICRC, government officials, members of the judiciary, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and other relevant persons and entities in furtherance of the Centre’s objectives.

The Centre spans RSIL’s Islamabad and Lahore Offices and is headed by Research Fellow, Oves Anwar. The Islamabad team consists of Research Associates, Zarnab Aurakzai and Jahanzaib Durrani. The CLC’s Lahore team includes, Senior Research Fellow, Maira Sheikh and Research Fellow, Moghees Uddin Khan.