Symposium on civilian casualties

Just Security discusses minimization of civilian casualties beyond that required by military necessity.

Against this backdrop, an important symposium series, “Civilian Casualties: The Law of Prevention and Response,” is kicking off on Wednesday (September 30) at noon EDT. The series is intended to promote deeper discussion and greater understanding of the broad range of considerations that underlie these critical issues. Conceived originally (before the pandemic) as a one-day event in Washington — part of the Signature Topic Initiative on Atrocity Prevention, sponsored by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) — the revamped online symposium format will facilitate a far wider range of participants as the Symposium takes a hard, honest look at these issues.

There will be six expert panels spread over a six-week period, each discussing a distinct area of law and policy on civilian casualties, each drawing from leaders and emerging voices from the military and government, civil society and humanitarian organizations, and academia. The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General, Lt. Gen. Charles Pede, will provide introductory keynote remarks on Wednesday. That will set the stage for the first week’s panel: “Compliance Professionals, The Law, and Ethics: Advising Leaders and Influencing Operations from the Front Lines.

A short overview video of the six-week series is available here, outlining what to expect in future weeks. Registration is free, and those wishing to register may do so here. For those who are unable to join live or who may want to use the sessions for educational purposes, the videos will be posted on the ASIL website for future use.

In addition to ASIL, the six-week series is co-sponsored by the American Red Cross, ASIL’s Lieber Society, the Stockton Center for International Law at the U.S. Naval War College, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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