International human rights and international humanitarian law both work to protect individuals from abuse. While human rights apply at any and all times, however, international humanitarian law applies only during armed conflicts. To discuss this divide, and to explore what happens when armed, non-state groups involved in conflicts challenge international law treaties, UC Berkeley law professor Kirk Boyd introduces the concepts of international human rights and international humanitarian law and explains how, in times of armed conflict, both apply in complementary ways. Boyd is the founder of the 2048 Project, an effort to draft an international framework for enforceable human rights.
To illustrate the challenge presented by non-state actors, Annyssa Bellal and Gilles Giacca from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (ADH), analyze the applicability of and issues related to humanitarian law in the Afghanistan conflict. They describe the Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) project, a publicly accessible website that serves as an independent and apolitical source of information on conflicts around the world and their status with regard to international law.
6:30 pm doors open
7:00 pm opening remarks by Julius Anderegg, Consul General of Switzerland
7:10 pm presentation starts
8:00 pm reception and networking
9:30 pm doors close
Kirk Boyd is the author of, “2048: Humanity’s Agreement to Live Together — the International Movement for Enforceable Human Rights,” published by Berrett Koehler and available in bookstores across the United States and Canada. The publication sets forth a plan for an International Bill of Rights that can be enforceable in the courts of all countries by the year 2048, the 100th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He is also the executive director of the 2048 Project at the UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. The mission of the 2048 Project is to educate students about the evolution of human rights, and to provide a process to draft an International Bill of Rights. He also teaches a course on international human rights.
Boyd completed his B.S. in political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, followed by his J.D., LL.M, and J.S.D. from UC Berkeley. He has worked as a litigator with Morrison & Forester and a partner in the firm Boyd, Huffman, Williams, and Urla. The majority of his cases have been involved in civil rights and environmental law. He was trained as a trial lawyer and appeared as appellate counsel at every level of court, including the United States Supreme Court.
Annyssa Bellal holds a Ph.D. in public international law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and she is currently a senior researcher at the Geneva Academy of International law and Human Rights. She worked as a legal advisor for the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs within the Directorate of Public international law, where she dealt with human rights and counter-terrorism issues. Her current research areas of interest focus on the problem of the ownership of international humanitarian norms by armed non state actors as well as the issue of immunity in the case of gross human rights violations.
Gilles Giacca is an expert in the field of economic and social rights within the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He prepares courses on economic and social rights for graduate students of international law and is himself writing his doctoral thesis on the implementation of economic, social, and cultural rights in armed conflict situations. His fields of interest focus on collective security, post-conflict peacebuilding, human rights law, humanitarian law, and refugee law.
The 2048 Project
The 2048 Project is an affiliation of educational institutions, human rights centers, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and foundations collaborating to educate students and the public about the evolution of human rights and to provide a process to draft an international framework for enforceable human rights that can be in place by the year 2048, the 100th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (ADH), in pursuing Geneva’s humanitarian tradition, aims to develop laws and practices that can prevent and alleviate the horrors of war. As an important step in this direction the ADH launched the Rule of Law in Armed Conflict project (RULAC), which aims to ultimately report on every concerned State and disputed territory in the world, considering both the legal norms that apply as well as the extent to which they are respected by the relevant actors. At the core of this project is a publicly available website, which serves as an independent and apolitical source of conflicts status with regard to international law.
Photo: Myleen Hollero