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Free online seminar Sept 16 on Criminalizing Humanitarian Engagement


A Live Seminar on "Criminalizing Humanitarian Engagement? Counterterror Legislation and Humanitarian Action" will take place on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. (EDT). Registration required.

This Live Seminar will examine how recent legal and policy trends--punctuated by a June 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision--may alter modalities of humanitarian engagement with non-state armed groups. In Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a law criminalizing various forms of "material support" to prohibited groups. In light of that decision, related UN Security Council Resolutions, and other emerging challenges to humanitarian space, this Live Seminar will address the following questions:

* What types of activities does Holder criminalize? Committed by whom, and where?
* How may humanitarian mandates drawn from international humanitarian law and human rights law conflict with laws criminalizing "material support" to non-state armed groups?
* What effect may these American laws have on non-U.S. organizations and individuals operating abroad? How may engaging with prohibited organizations trigger criminal or civil liability?
* How may laws regulating interactions with non-state armed groups inhibit humanitarian access to vulnerable populations?
* What implications arise for the core humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence, and impartiality in such contexts?

These questions will be explored by reference to contemporary armed conflicts and to the applicable legal and policy frameworks.

Naz Modirzadeh (Associate Director of the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research) and Claude Bruderlein (Director of the Program) will host the discussion.

What: Live Seminar on "Criminalizing Humanitarian Engagement? Counterterror Legislation and Humanitarian Action"

When: Thursday, September 10, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. EDT (click here to convert to local time)
Where: Online

Vanda Felbab-Brown, Negotiations and Reconciliation with the Taliban: Key Policy Issues and Dilemmas, Brookings Institute, January 2010.

Véronique Dudouet, Mediating Peace with Proscribed Armed Groups, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report 239, May 2010.

Lyle Denniston, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, SCOTUSWIKI, 2010.

Charles Doyle, Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B, Congressional Research Service, July 19, 2010.

Mohammad Fadel, The Supreme Court's troubling decision on 'material support', Foreign Policy, June 23, 2010.

Max Glaser et al., Humanitarian engagement with non-state armed actors: The parameters of negotiated access, Humanitarian Practice Network, October 2005.

HPCR and HEI, Empowered Groups, Tested Laws, and Policy Options: Report on an Interdisciplinary Seminar on Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups, 2007.

Joanne Mariner, Talking to Terrorists: The Worst U.S. Supreme Court Decision of the Term, FindLaw, July 7, 2010.

Marco Sassòli, Engaging Armed Nonstate Actors with International Humanitarian Law, Canadian Consotrium on Human Security, Vol. 6, Issue 2, February 2008.

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