Instructor:  Marco Kalbusch, Director, United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC)

 Human rights, international humanitarian law (IHL) and disarmament and arms control law are three bodies of public international law that are interlinked when applied in the practice of international relations. International instruments, especially in recent years, are often contributing to the development and strengthening of two or all three of these bodies of law. Human rights and humanitarian law considerations are often taken into account in the development new disarmament instruments and some of these instruments may even be perceived as belonging to different bodies of law.

This course will introduce the students to the interlinkages of human rights, IHL and disarmament from a practitioner's perspective. Students will first be reminded of the main human rights and IHL instruments that are of importance in disarmament work, they will then be introduced to the main disarmament instruments for which human rights and IHL are relevant. Special attention will be given to the Convention on the prohibition of certain conventional weapons (CCW) and its protocols, the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons (CWC), the Convention on the prohibition of biological weapons (BWC), the so-called Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Arms Trade Treaty. The latter will be addressed more in-depth during the course. Some select regional and sub-regional instruments will also be discussed.

Students will further learn about the inter-linkages between human rights, IHL and disarmament beyond existing treaty law, with a focus on nuclear weapons and the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. The course will introduce students to the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice in relation to the use of nuclear weapons as well as resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.

In order to prepare themselves for the course, students are expected to refresh their knowledge of the nine core human rights treaties, especially the ICCPR, CAT, CRC and CEDAW, as well as the four Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.