Research & publications In the spotlight

Luca Ferro
International Order & Justice Lecture Series


Please find attached all information on the International Order & Justice Lecture Series - vol. 3, including esteemed speakers and their affiliation, the topic and dates of their presentations, and general set up.

To register, contact Ms. Kristien Ballegeer; for more information, contact Prof. Tom Ruys or Dr. Luca Ferro.

Luca Ferro
International Order & Justice Specialist Course


Please find attached all informatiopn on the International Order & Justice Lecture Series Specialist Course - vol. 3, including esteemed respondents and their affiliation, the dates of the doctoral seminars, and general set up.

For registration and payment details, contact Ms. Kristien Ballegeer; for more information, contact Prof. Tom Ruys or Dr. Luca Ferro.

A Libyan Playground for Foreign Powers: Presenting the Case for ‘Negative Equality’

Prematurely calling time of death on ‘negative equality’?

On 5 and 6 December 2019, the Journal on the Use of Force and International Law (JUFIL) and the Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI) hosted an international conference on ‘military assistance on request’, the doctrine formerly known as ‘intervention by invitation’. Also present at the conference were several members of the refurbished International Law Association (ILA) Committee on the Use of Force, co-chaired by Professors Claus Kreß and Vera Rusinova and intent on fleshing out the many unresolved issues related to this intricate topic.

One leitmotif of the spirited conference proceedings (with resultant papers soon to be published in two special issues of JUFIL) was profound scepticism towards the doctrine of ‘negative equality’, which prescribes that ‘[t]hird States shall refrain from giving assistance to parties to a civil war which is being fought in the territory of another State’. Few participants considered the doctrine as a representation of the lex lata, echoing common criticism among legal commentators – including in the blogosphere (see, for example, here, here and here). In a 2018 report, the ILA Committee’s immediate predecessor also seems to have hedged its bets by opining that while ‘consent can allow for the sending of armed forces into a State following the request by its government for assistance in quelling an insurrection … [and] may preclude a violation of the jus ad bellum, it cannot justify violations of the jus in bello or international human rights law’.

It is therefore all the more surprising that the situation in Libya appears to belie this negative trend for ‘negative equality’ as it features a ban on all foreign interference and emphatic support for a Libyan-led, Libyan-owned process to end the conflict – and thereby confirms the doctrine’s main tenets.

Read more here.

Tom Ruys
Mukeshimana-Ngulinzira and Others v. Belgium and Others

(2020) 114 American Journal of International Law, pp. 268-275

On April 11, 1994, approximately two thousand men, women, and children were brutally murdered by armed Hutu extremists after a group of Belgian UN peacekeepers abandoned the school facility where they had sought refuge upon the outbreak of the Rwandan genocide. Almost a quarter of a century later, the Brussels Court of Appeal (Court) on June 8, 2018 concluded the civil proceedings lodged by a number of Rwandan survivors and relatives against the Belgian commanding officers and the Belgian state. Overturning an earlier judgment of the Brussels Court of First Instance, the Court held that the decision to retreat from the facility was imputable only to the United Nations, to the exclusion of the Belgian authorities. Accordingly, the claims against the Belgian state were unfounded. The events—which inspired the movie Shooting Dogs (2005)—bear obvious similarities to the role of the United Nations Protection Force's (UNPROFOR) Dutch battalion (Dutchbat) in the evacuation of the Potoçari camp and the ensuing genocide of seven thousand Bosnian men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica in 1995. Like the Dutch judgments in the (more well-known) Mothers of Srebrenica proceedings, the Mukeshimana appellate judgment provides a rare national court precedent that considers the imputability of the conduct of peacekeepers to troop-contributing countries. The Mukeshimana judgment, however, raises a high bar for finding such imputability.

Tom Ruys (editor) Nicolas Angelet (editor) Luca Ferro (assistant editor)
The Cambridge Handbook of Immunities and International Law

Few topics of international law speak to the imagination as much as international immunities. Questions pertaining to immunity from jurisdiction or execution under international law surface on a frequent basis before national courts, including at the highest levels of the judicial branch and...

The volume comprises 34 chapters including contributions by GRILI members Tom Ruys and Luca Ferro

Full list of authors: Tom Ruys, Nicolas Angelet, Luca Ferro, Hazel Fox, Lori Fisler Damrosch, Wenhua Shan, Peng Wang, Alexander Orakhelashvili, Yas Banifatemi, Sally El Sawah, Catherine Amirfar, Niels Blokker, Kristen E. Boon, Ramses A. Wessel, Jean-Marc Thouvenin, Victor Grandaubert, Ingrid Wuerth, Cedric Ryngaert, Matthew Happold, Eric De Brabandere, Mark A. Cymrot, Mathias Audit, Maria-Clara Van Den Bossche, Frédéric Dopagne, Sanderijn Duquet, Eileen Denza, Andrew Sanger, Michael Wood, Muriel Ubéda-Saillard, Rosanne Van Alebeek, Chimène I. Keitner, Christian Walter, Fabian Preger, Aurel Sari, Rosa Freedman, Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, Harmen Van Der Wilt, Pierre D'argent, Pauline Lesaffre, Phillipa Webb and David P. Stewart.

Jan Wouters Cedric Ryngaert Tom Ruys Geert De Baere
International Law: a European Perspective

This textbook offers for the first time a comprehensive analysis of the classic doctrines and main areas of international law from a European perspective, meeting the needs of the many European law schools teaching public international law in English. Special attention is devoted to the practice of the European Union, the Council of Europe and European States – both civil law and common law countries – with regard to international law. In particular the book analyses the interplay between international law, EU law and national law in the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU, the European Court of Human Rights and national jurisdictions in Europe. It provides the reader with insights into how the international legal practice of the EU and its Member States impacts the development of international law, both in terms of doctrines such as treaty-making and customary law, the exercise of (extraterritorial) jurisdiction, state responsibility and the settlement of disputes, as well as particular sub-fields of international law, such as human rights law and international economic law. In addition the book covers other important areas such as the use of force and collective security, the law of armed conflict, and global and regional international organisations. It provides European perspectives on all these issues and will be of great value to students, scholars and practitioners.

Tom Ruys (editor) Olivier Corten (editor) Alexandra Hofer (assistant editor)
The Use of Force in International Law: a Case-based Approach

The international law on the use of force is one of the oldest branches of international law. It is an area twinned with the emergence of international law as a concept in itself, and which sees law and politics collide. The number of armed conflicts is equal only to the number of methodological...

The volume comprises 66 chapters including contributions by GRILI members Tom Ruys, Alexandra Hofer and Luca Ferro.

Full list of authors: Constantine Antonopoulos, Karine Bannelier, Janina Barkholdt, Susan Breau, Wenke Brückner, Michael Byers, Enzo Cannizzaro, Kenneth Chan, Théodore Christakis, Olivier Corten, Fanny Declercq, Ashley Deeks, Oliver Dörr, François Dubuisson, Luca Ferro, Mathias Forteau, Gregory H. Fox, Daniel Franchini, Tarcisio Gazzini, Terry D. Gill, Christine Gray, James A. Green, Douglas Guilfoyle, Andrea de Guttry, Gerhard Hafner, Nabil Hajjami, Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Mohamed S. Helal, Christian Henderson, Etienne Henry, Alexandra Hofer, Jörg Kammerhofer, Maurice Kamto, Pierre Klein, Robert Kolb, Marcos Kotlik, Vaios Koutroulis, Claus Kreß, David Kretzmer, Dino Kristiotis, Jean-Christophe Martin, Lindsay Moir, Sean D. Murphy, Anne Lagerwall, Eliav Lieblich, Georg Nolte, Benjamin K. Nußberger, Mary Ellen O'Connell, Alexander Orakhelashvili, Ki-Gab Park, Mónica Pinto, Erin Pobjie, John Quigley, Aurora Rasi, Theresa Reinold, Natalino Ronzitti, Tom Ruys, Alison See, Ying Xiu, Paulina Starski, Raphaël Van Steenberghe, Christian J. Tams, Kinga Tibori-Szabó, Dire Tladi, Kimberley N. Trapp, Nicholas Tsagourias, Antonios Tzanakopoulos, Agatha Verdebout, Ugo Villani, Christian Walter, Marc Weller, Erika de Wet, Nigel White, Myra Williamson, Sir Michael Wood

Eva Brems Ellen Desmet
Integrated Human Rights in Practice Rewriting Human Rights Decisions

This book aims to introduce concrete and innovative proposals for a holistic approach to supranational human rights justice through a hands-on legal exercise: the rewriting of decisions of supranational human rights monitoring bodies. The contributing scholars have thus redrafted crucial passages of landmark human rights judgments and decisions, ‘as if human rights law were really one’, borrowing or taking inspiration from developments and interpretations throughout the whole multi-layered human rights protection system. In addition to the rewriting exercise, the contributors have outlined the methodology and/or theoretical framework that guided their approaches and explain how human rights monitoring bodies may adopt an integrated approach to human rights law.

Eva Brems Ellen Desmet Wouter Vandenhole
Children’s Rights Law in the Global Human Rights Landscape

Children’s rights law is often studied and perceived in isolation from the broader field of human rights law. This volume explores the inter-relationship between children’s rights law and more general human rights law in order to see whether elements from each could successfully inform the other. Children’s rights law has a number of distinctive characteristics, such as the emphasis on the ‘best interests of the child’, the use of general principles, and the inclusion of ‘third parties’ (e.g. parents and other care-takers) in treaty provisions. The first part of this book questions whether these features could be a source of inspiration for general human rights law. In part two, the reverse question is asked: could children’s rights law draw inspiration from developments in other branches of human rights law that focus on other specific categories of rights holders, such as women, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, or older persons? Finally, the interaction between children’s rights law and human rights law – and the potential for their isolation, inspiration or integration – may be coloured or determined by the thematic issue under consideration. Therefore the third part of the book studies the interplay between children’s rights law and human rights law in the context of specific topics: intra-family relations, LGBTQI marginalization, migration, media, the environment and transnational human rights obligations.