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Upcoming conference on International Humanitarian Law

26/27 September 2014 in Geneva

News from Sep 11, 2014


The Protection of Military and Civilian Victims to the Test of the First World War

To mark the 150 th anniversary of the First Geneva Convention considered as the first treaty of modern international humanitarian law (IHL) - and in conjunction with the celebrations of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, this international symposium examines the reasons and origins of breaking humanitarian laws and the basic laws of war.

This conference is jointly organized by Daniel Palmieri (ICRC), Irene Herrmann (University of Geneva), Daniel Segesser (University of Bern), and Heather Jones ( London School of Economics and Political Science), which are all also contributors to our online encyclopdia.


FRIDAY, 26.09.2014

(Humanitarium c/o CICR, 19 avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva) before 10.00, access to the Humanitarium through the ICRC restaurant


Welcome & Introduction: 9.20 – 10.00, Daniel Palmieri (ICRC)

Introduction, Irene Herrmann (University of Geneva), Law as an ideal? Introductory Reflections

1st Session 10.00 – 13.00

ChairJean-Luc Blondel (ICRC)

  • 10.00 – 10.30, Heather Jones (LSE), Public opinion, propaganda and the British treatment of German prisoners of war in the First World War
  • 10.35 – 11.05, Peter Holquist (University of Pennsylvania), The Russian Empire’s Intentions regarding Observance of the Laws of War in the Early Stage of the First World War: Treatment of Enemy Subject Civilians

Break 11.10 – 11.20

  • 11.20 – 11.50, Alan Kramer (Trinity College Dublin), International Law and the Austro-Italian front during the First World War
  • 11.55 – 12.25, Mahon Murphy (LSE), Law as an ideal? Internment in the extra-European theatre of the First World War

Discussion 12.30 – 13.00


2nd Session: 14.15 – 17.50

ChairDaniel Palmieri (ICRC)

  • 14.15– 14.45, Bruna Bianchi (Universita Ca'Foscari VE), Violations of International Conventions on the Eastern front. Justifications, reactions, outcomes
  • 14.50 – 15.20, Jonathan Gumz (University of Birmingham), Legality and the Habsburg Prosecution of War, 1914-1918

Break 15.25 –15.40

  • 15.40 – 16.10, Gerd Hankel (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung), Les procès de Leipzig – débuts, déroulement, résultats et réception
  • 16.15 -16.45, Neville Wylie (University of Nottingham), Making of a humanitarian subject

Discussion 16.50 – 17.50

SATURDAY, 27.09.2014

(University of Geneva, UNIBASTIONS, room  B 111, 5 rue de Candolle, 1205 Geneva)


3rd Session: 9.00 – 12.30
ChairIrene Herrmann (University of Geneva)

  • 9.00 – 9.30, Gabriela Frei (Merton College,Oxford), The Making and Breaking of Law. Reactions and Reflections of International Lawyers during the First World War
  • 9.35– 10.05, Daniel Marc Segesser (University of Bern), “I have the honour to inform you that …”: Achievements and failures of protective powers and the ICRC in regard to prisoners-of-war and civilian internees in the non-European world

Break 10.10 – 10.20

  • 10.20 – 11.00, Lindsey Cameron (ICRC), Unwavering belief in the power of law: the ICRC and the First World War
  • 11.10 –11.40, Julia Walleczek-Fritz (Österreichisches Staatsarchiv), Scandinavian Red Cross Societies and their POW relief in Austria-Hungary, 1914-1918

Discussion & Conclusion 11.45 – 12.30 

For more information refer to: http://calenda.org/299206 or

contact Danile Palmieri at dpalmieri [at] icrc [dot] org

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