Mar 25 at UMN: International Humanitarian Law Workshop

Humanity in War: An International Humanitarian Law Workshop
Registration Register Now    Featuring

Merve Stolzman
American Red Cross

Griffin Ferry, JD
American Red Cross

Professor Fionnuala Ni Aolain
University of Minnesota Law School

Saturday, March 25 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Walter F. Mondale Hall Room 30 University of Minnesota Law School
229 19th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
see map: Google Maps

The workshop will cover the major areas of International Humanitarian Law: legal classifications of types of armed conflict, Geneva Convention and Additional Protocols, fundamental principles and protections afforded by international law, distinction between combatants and civilians, civilian and direct participations in hostilities, role of the Red Cross and other humanitarian actors in armed conflict.

This one-day instructor-led workshop was designed to train Red Cross personnel and now is made available to all interested professionals.


Merve Stolzman is a Pro Bono Legal Adviser for the International Humanitarian Law team. She was a Legal Fellow with the team in the 2015-16 year. Before that, she worked as a Research Associate for the Public International Law & Policy Group, and worked on a variety of constitution drafting, peace negotiation, and transitional justice projects. During law school, she was a Dean’s Fellow for the War Crimes Research Office, where she worked on international criminal law and humanitarian law-related issues, and a Law Clerk at International Rights Advocates, where she worked on Alien Torts Statute cases. Originally from Ankara, Turkey, she received her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law, her MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, and her B.A. in International Relations from Richmond, the American International University in London. Ms. Stolzman is licensed to practice in New York. Her interests include: international humanitarian law, international cultural heritage law, the use of force, international criminal law, and human rights.

Griffin Ferry, JD is a Legal Fellow on the International Humanitarian Law team. Griffin recently graduated from University of Minnesota Law School, where his interest in IHL was sparked by a research assistantship with Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin focusing on IHL, transitional justice, and international criminal law. As a law student, Griffin was awarded Upper Midwest International Human Rights Fellowships in the summers of 2014 and 2015 to work with the Advocates for Human Rights and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In 2015 Griffin won the International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition and was on the team that won the 2015 Clara Barton IHL Competition. At his law school graduation Griffin was selected as a winner of the University of Minnesota Human Rights Law Award. His interests include: international humanitarian law, human rights law, transitional justice, and European Union Law.

Professor Fionnuala Ni Aolain is the Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society at the University of Minnesota Law School and Faculty Director of the Human Rights Center. She is concurrently a professor of law at the University of Ulster’s Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland and is co-founder and associate director of the Institute. Profile


8:30-9:00 AM
Check-in, distribution of manuals, catered breakfast & Coffee

9:00-9:10 AM
Opening Remarks

9:10 -12:00 PM
Introduction to International Humanitarian Law and the Red Cross “Global Network” (Module 1)

This module will introduce participants to definition of international humanitarian law and provide an overview of the American Red Cross and the Red Cross Global Network. Participants will learn how humanitarian organizations aid in times of armed conflict and the fundamental principles of the Red Cross Global Network.

Armed Conflict and International Law, and the two types of Armed Conflict. (Module 2, Parts I and II)

In Part I of this module, participants will learn to identify what constitutes an armed conflict and the history and development of the laws applicable to armed conflict. There will also be a brief overview of the interaction between international humanitarian law and international human rights law.


In Part II of this module, participant will learn to distinguish between the two types of armed conflict specified in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and the general rules applicable to each type.

Distinction in status of persons and objects and the impact of direct participation in hostilities by civilians (Module 3, Part I)

In Part I of this module will explore the status of persons subject to the law. Participants will learn to distinguish between civilians and combatants and the impact that conflict classification can have on either status of. We will also address general and universal protections.

12:00-1:15 PM
Special Lecture: Prof. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, University of Minnesota Law School
Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society; Faculty Director, Human Rights Center

1:15-5:00 PM
(Module 3, Part II) In Part II of this module, participants will learn how civilians may lose their general protection against attack by directly participating in hostilities. Participants will also learn to distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives.

The Four Fundamental Principles of IHL, the limits on means and methods of warfare, and the exercise of precautions by the parties (Module 4)

Participants will learn about the four fundamental principles of international humanitarian law: distinction, military necessity, proportionality, and humanity, and how to apply them through feasible precautions. Participants will also be introduced to restrictions on the means and methods of warfare and the concept of the rules of engagement.


Special Protection of Persons and Objects, and Enforcement of IHL (Module 5, Parts I and II)

In Part I, this session will introduce participants to special protections for persons and objects. Part II will discuss how IHL is enforced, what constitutes “war crimes”, and the prosecution of alleged violators via domestic and international legal mechanisms.

Wrap Up (Module 6) and Closing Remarks
Review of Learning Objectives, course evaluation, and closing remarks.

Cost Free but registration is required; $20 at door (exact cash or check) for CLE registration.

Credits 6 Standard CLE credits have been requested; CLE Event Code #236549

Lunch will be provided.
Parking Information
Law School Parking & Directions

Contact Information
Vicky Nguyen, Human Rights Center
(612) 626-0041
© 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement