The Conflict Law Centre is a unique portal at RSIL which is dedicated to the law of armed conflict. The CLC was founded in September 2015 and undertakes independent, rigorous, quality and in-depth research in order to enhance understanding of, and promote respect for, international humanitarian law. The Centre’s research papers, blogs, events and other outputs address current issues, stimulate debate, and examine under-explored topics.

Our research focuses on all aspects of an armed conflict, including recourse to the use of force (the jus ad bellum), the conduct of war (jus in bello), and post-conflict transition and reconstruction (jus post bellum). We provide authoritative analysis of these areas for a broad audience which includes the government, academics, civil society and students. The CLC also works closely with the Centre of International Law at National Defence University as a source of legal reference in order to support informed policy choices.

Special Features
@WAR Podcast Series
CLC Shorts
IHL in Film
War and Words
CLC Blog

A Two-Tier System: Afghan and Ukrainian Arrivals in the UK

On the anniversary of the Fall of Kabul, Mary Hunter investigates the differential treatment by the UK government towards Ukrainian and Afghan refugees, with the former arriving in greater numbers more quickly and with more support, despite the fact that many Afghans are at risk because of direct British involvement in Afghanistan. She posits that this two-tier system and the greater urgency expressed by the British public rests upon a Eurocentric and colonial mindset, which prioritises Ukrainian lives above those of Afghans. Ultimately, she concludes that these disparities are unacceptable and that Afghans are equally as deserving of British support as Ukrainians.

Read more

Another Year After the Abrogation of Article 370

Another year has passed since India abrogated Article 370 and ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special autonomous status, turning it into an annexed and federally-controlled territory. Since then, the restless region has seen continued human rights violations, demographic changes, and a push to delimit the territory in order to allow Assembly elections to take place. India claims it is providing economic development and promoting democracy in Jammu and Kashmir when in fact it continues to breach international law. India’s attempt to show the valley as one where Kashmiris are finally reaping the dividends of peace is a smokescreen for a region where everything is far from normal. This article will analyse India’s actions in the past year and argue that despite Modi’s attempt to hide what is going on from the international stage, India’s continued clampdowns and authoritarianism in Jammu and Kashmir must not go unnoticed.

Read more

The Ethiopian Conflict Explained

On 4th November, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, launched a military operation against a non-state group, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), sparking a non-international armed conflict in the country. This offensive was undertaken after the TPLF attacked federal military units in the region

Read more

CLC Statement on Kashmir Day

Kashmir Day marks a day of solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their fight for self-determination against Indian occupation. The last year has been especially tumultuous in the valley with Kashmiris suffering under lockdown after lockdown in what remains one of the most militarised zones in the world. India has, since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, acted in furtherance of its objective to annex the state to its territory.

Read more

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW): One Step Closer to a Ban?

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force on January 22, 2021 and is being celebrated by many as the dawn of a new nuclear order. The treaty is the first of its kind in that it comprehensively bans the development and possession of nuclear weapons and is a result of 50 years worth of attempts to curb the proliferation of such weapons. Its proponents argue that the treaty challenges the hegemony and moral exceptionalism of the states that continue to possess nuclear weapons

Read more

Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Between IHL And The Counter-Terrorism Regime

Prior to 2014, “foreign fighters” and “terrorists” represented separate categories of individuals that fell under the jurisdiction of different international law regimes, namely international humanitarian law and the international counter-terrorism regime. However, after the landmark UNSC Resolution 2178 (2014) was passed in response to the influx of third-state fighters in support of ISIL and Al-Qaeda…

Read more

The US-Taliban Peace Deal and International Law

After over 18 years of war in Afghanistan, the US and the Taliban, the two parties to the conflict i.e. a State and an Insurrectional Movement respectively, concluded the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” (“Doha Accord”) with a view to end the war.[1] This article will engage in a two part inquiry. It will…

Read more

The Coronavirus in Indian-Occupied Kashmir

The first case of coronavirus in Indian-Occupied Kashmir was reported on March 20, 2020.[1] Conflict-affected regions such as the Kashmir valley are acutely vulnerable to the spread of the virus and there are concerns that this could lead to serious humanitarian consequences in the region. This vulnerability is due to the fact that prolonged unrest…

Read more

US-Iran Conflict: How International Law Protects Cultural Property In Armed Conflict

after growing hostilities between the US and Iran, President Trump threatened to attack Iran’s cultural sites. He tweeted that the US had identified 52 Iranian sites some of which were “at a very high level and important to Iran and the Iranian culture” warning that they would be hit if Tehran conducted any revenge attacks. The Pentagon has since ruled out the targeting of Iranian cultural sites with the Defense Secretary acknowledging that this would be a war crime.[1] This article will analyse the protection provided to cultural sites during an armed conflict in IHL and any possible repercussions under the law of state responsibility as well as international criminal law.

Read more

Iran, the US and Economic Warfare

Iranian-US relations have been turbulent recently to say the least, and while we are yet to see whether there will be military consequences to these frayed ties, the economic effects on Iran are already being felt in the form of crippling sanctions. In July 2019, President Trump tweeted that Iran had “made a very big mistake” in shooting down a US military surveillance drone that had entered Iranian airspace on 20th June 2019.

Read more

Is green the new black?

The US Presidential elections will be held in November 2020, but with party primaries around the corner, the Democrats are really feeling the heat. One candidate who stands out for her progressive and liberal approach is Senator Elizabeth Warren. She is currently making headlines for her special Green deal which proposes an investment of $2 trillion to promote clean, green and renewable technology for the US military.

Read more

Drones, far as I can see

President Trump revoked an Obama-era requirement to report on civilian deaths outside areas of active hostilities. This requirement obliged the Director of National Intelligence to report annually on civilians killed by U.S. drone strikes outside official war zones. It was instituted by Obama in 2016 to ‘promote accountability and encourage the minimising of civilian casualties’.

Read more