Blogposts by Bérénice Boutin

Bérénice Boutin

Bérénice Boutin

Bérénice is a Researcher at the TMC Asser Institute, working on various projects related to counter-terrorism, modern warfare, and international crimes.  Her research interests include general public international law, international responsibility, international human rights, and international humanitarian law. Bérénice was part of … Read more

1 June 2011

What Responsibility for States Participating to a Lesser Extent to the NATO Operation in Libya?

As usually for international military operations led by an international organization, States participating in the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector placed their military contingents under the operational command of NATO.  However the Rules of Engagement – which define the conditions under which members of a national contingent can engage force – may differ amongst participating States.

The Netherlands, for instance, decided to send planes to Libya but limited their mission to providing support in enforcing the UNSC Resolution, while forbidding them to participate in ground bombings.  In military terms, the Dutch forces can provide surveillance, intelligence or air-to-air refuelling, but they do not engage in air-to-ground missions. This limited engagement probably stems from a will of limiting the Dutch responsibility in case of a wrongful act of the coalition. However, one can wonder to what extent the Netherlands could be held liable for the injuries resulting of wrongful acts of the Operation Unified Protector. (more…)

10 April 2011

An “unlikely scenario” that occurred in Ivory Coast… And a case for shared responsibility between the UN and France

In follow-up to Security Council Resolution 1975, and in response to recent attacks against civilians and the United Nations mission, the international forces in Ivory Coast recently launched operations against the Gbagbo camp. The “unusually robust” reaction seems to have been triggered by the attacks by the armed forces loyal to Gbagbo directed against the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) Headquarters. The impartiality of a UN operation directly targeting Gbagbo has been quickly questioned, but it can easily be shown that “the fact that Gbagbo’s troops attacked the UN justifies the punishing response”. These events prompt two questions of international law. (more…)

22 March 2011

The first days of the implementation of Resolution 1973: an unclear coalition and unclear responsibilities

In international military operations, the determination of international responsibilities for the wrongful acts committed during operations depends on cooperation settings, and notably on arrangements regarding command and control over the troops. Regarding those terms, the operation undertaken in implementation of UNSC Resolution 1973 is conspicuously unclear. (more…)

8 March 2011

Apologies are not enough: on the practical importance of implementing international responsibility

The accidental killing of nine Afghan children by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the beginning of March led to apologies by the ISAF commander General Petraeus. Those excuses were rejected by President Karzai as insufficient. It is indeed expected that in case of military acts breaching international law, the ISAF should provide financial compensation for the injuries caused, not only satisfaction in the form of official apologies. (more…)

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