On the first anniversary of the Alseran case, where it was found that detainees in British military custody in Iraq had suffered inhuman and degrading treatment, and had been unlawfully detained, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and Leigh Day Solicitors are holding a seminar to discuss the implications of recent case law on British military detention in Iraq.
It will bring together scholars and practitioners in international human rights law and international humanitarian law for two panel discussions. The first panel will place the Alseran case in context, with contributions from a former Army Legal Services legal adviser, and from Leigh Day about the litigation against the Ministry of Defence.
It will be followed by a critical assessment of recent investigations and prevention efforts, with contributions from scholars on the regulation of detention in armed conflicts, on military training in international humanitarian law, and on the Ministry of Defence’s investigations, in the context of the preliminary examination by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Panel 1: Alseran in Context
Revd Nicholas Mercer (formerly of Army Legal Services) will share his experiences in Iraq at the outset of the war and his thoughts on the judgment in Alseran and Ors v MoD.
Dr Melanie Jacques (Leigh Day) will provide an in-depth analysis of Alseran and Ors v MoD and Al-Waheed/Serdar Mohammed (No.2) v MoD, the legal developments leading up to these cases and the legal issues and principles arising from them. Leigh Day represented the Claimants in Alseran and Ors v MoD and Al-Waheed/Mohammed (No.2).
Dr Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne (University of Reading) will explore the legal regulation of detention in international armed conflict, belligerent occupation and in non-international armed conflict; and how the procedural protections of Article 5(4) ECHR might be satisfied where IHL also applies.
Chair: Professor Liora Lazarus (Head of Research, Bonavero Institute for Human Rights)
Panel 2: A Critical Assessment of Recent Investigations and Prevention Efforts
Dr Thomas Obel Hansen (University of Ulster) will speak about his recent co-authored discussion paper (with Dr Carla Ferstman and Dr Noora Arajarvi) ‘The UK in Iraq: Efforts and Prospects for Accountability for International Crimes Allegations: A Discussion Paper’ (University of Essex Human Rights Centre; Ulster University Transitional Justice Initiative 2018).
Dr Elizabeth Stubbins Bates (Merton College, Oxford) will present her research findings on the British Army’s training in international humanitarian law, making predictions for future military operations.
Chair: Professor Dapo Akande (Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict)
Tickets are free and a light lunch will be provided.