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Drones & Unmanned Weapons Systems under International Law

Corporate Liability: An Alternative Path to Accountability? / Stauffer, H.

Drones and Other Unmanned Weapons Systems under International Law. ed. / Stuart Casey-Maslen; Nathalie Weizmann; Maziar Homayounnejad; Hilary Stauffer. Brill, 2018. p. 195-216 (International Humanitarian Law Series; Vol. 53).

Drone strikes have become a key feature of counter-terrorism operations in an increasing number of countries. This book explores the different domestic and international legal regimes that govern the manufacture, transfer, and use of armed drones.


My chapter explores alternative frameworks for accountability for drone strikes if international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law are determined to be not applicable.


Israel Law Review

Stauffer, H. (2016).

The Transformation of Occupied Territory in International Law

Andrea Carcano Brill/Nijhoff, 2015, 540 pp,

Israel Law Review, 49(2), 277-284. doi:10.1017/S0021223716000091

A book review of a treatise focused on the law of occupation, both historical and post-2003 invasion of Iraq.

For the War Report 2014 (published Dec. 2015), I wrote about the legal implications under international law of the CIA's torture program.

For the War Report 2013, (published Dec. 2014), I wrote about the legal implications under international law of the U.S. drones program.


The War Report


The War Report is an annual report on armed conflicts around the world, published by Oxford University Press. The Report qualifies each conflict under international humanitarian law (i.e. as international armed conflict, military occupation, non-international armed conflict), and describe the applicable international norms, the main parties to the conflict, the predominant means and methods of warfare, and the number of military and civilian casualties, and displaced. It furthers document war crimes investigations and prosecutions as well as credible allegations. A series of thematic reports discuss key issues arising during, or as a result of, armed conflict with a special focus on the most actual legal questions.


No Shame in Justice
Sexual violence happens largely in the shadows. It generally takes place out of sight, and victims are often forced to suffer the resulting physical, psychological and emotional trauma behind literal or figurative closed doors. Deeply-entrenched societal taboos surrounding any discussion of sexual activity are intensified when suggestions of force or coercion are introduced. This collective silence can present a significant hurdle to identifying the scale of sexual violence and to effectively prevent and respond to it. Misconceptions about who can be a victim of sexual violence, where and how it happens, and what survivors want most in order to recover make it all the more difficult to address.
This report describes the breadth, scope and multiple manifestations of conflict-related sexual violence. It explains the ramifications of sexual violence for affected individuals, including the stigma they face, and address the negative repercussions of stigma associated with sexual violence – for survivors and for justice.


Duty of Care vs. Right to Privacy
Globalisation is no longer a novel concept, and the global trends affecting the world economy are having a significant impact on how businesses organise and manage their workforce. The rapid growth evident in emerging markets — coupled with the world’s increased interconnectedness through banking, telecommunications, and trade — both encourages and enables corporations to establish a greater international presence.

With these worldwide ambitions comes a greater demand for a globalised workforce which can be reflected through both short-term temporary postings and long-term assignments in another country. The commercial benefits of such postings are easily recognisable — but such advantages may be tempered by the unpredictable security threats which exist in certain environments. Thus, risk management ‘best practices’ often recommend the use of tracking technology for employees posted abroad. 

Tracking devices are widely available, adaptable to a variety of markets, and are increasingly being employed in a broad range of environments, across a greater cross-section of employees. However, their use raises a host of legal questions that can impact an organisation’s operations. Two prominent trackingrelated concerns which can confound modern-day executives and lawyers alike are the notions of ‘duty of care’ and the ‘right to privacy’. Navigating the space where these two concepts overlap is a thoroughly vexing feature of the contemporary workplace.  This White Paper explores some of the challenges associated with reconciling these occasionally conflicting legal principles, especially as manifested in the ‘digital age’.
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