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Edited by Ayesha Shahid, Meryl Dickinson and Javaid Rehman

The Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law aims to publish peer-reviewed scholarly articles and reviews as well as significant developments in human rights and humanitarian law. It examines international human rights and humanitarian law with a global reach, though its particular focus is on the Asian region.

The focused theme of Volume 1 is ISIS and Implications for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Judicial Dialogue on Human Rights

The Practice of International Criminal Tribunals


Edited by Paolo Lobba and Triestino Mariniello

Judicial Dialogue on Human Rights offers a critical legal perspective on the manner in which international criminal tribunals select, (re-)interpret and apply the principles and standards formulated by the European Court of Human Rights. A part of the book is devoted to testing the assumption that the current practice of cross-referencing, though widespread, is incoherent in method and erratic in substance. Notable illustrations analysed in the book include the nullum crimen principle, prohibition of torture, hearsay evidence and victims’ rights. Another section of the book seeks to devise a methodologically sound ‘grammar’ of judicial dialogue, focussing on how and when human rights concepts may be transferred into the context of international criminal justice.


Mohamed El Kouhene

Nouvelle édition avec préface du Prince Hassan bin Talal.

La protection de l’individu dans les situations de conflits armés et sa protection dans les situations de paix ont été scindées pour des raisons historiques, sociales, juridiques et politiques. Mohamed El Kouhene confronte ces deux branches de droit international que les développements récents rapprochent de manière substantielle. Il les compare sous l’angle des droits les plus fondamentaux de la personne et les met en relation sous leur aspect le plus délicat, à savoir les régimes de protection, leur portée, leurs interdépendances. Bien qu’ils constituent deux systèmes juridiques distincts, le droit international humanitaire et le droit international des droits de l’homme forment, plus que jamais, un faisceau de normes et de mécanismes de protection complémentaires. Cette approche complémentariste défendue par l’auteur dans la première édition du livre en 1986 ne s’est pas démentie au fil des ans. Au contraire elle a prospéré sous l’influence mutuelle de la doctrine, du législateur et du juge internationaux. Le sujet est toujours d’actualité, plus que jamais dirions-nous, car dans l’environnement sombre où nous vivons, la communauté internationale se doit de mobiliser tout l’arsenal juridique dont elle dispose pour sauvegarder et faire respecter les règles qui protègent l’humanité. Ce livre est une réédition du texte original avec une introduction et une préface nouvelles.

"Eminent expert en droit international qui a consacré sa carrière à la réflexion et à l’action humanitaire, mon collègue Mohamed El Kouhene est idéalement placé pour présenter la complémentarité du droit international humanitaire et du droit international des droits de l’homme. Son ouvrage est un outil essentiel pour comprendre les règles et les mécanismes qui nous permettent de mieux protéger notre humanité. A lire absolument! "
Catherine Bertini, Directrice exécutive du Programme alimentaire mondial des Nations Unies de 1992 à 2002.

Couronné par le Prix Paul Reuter 1985 Décerné par le Comité International de la Croix-Rouge.

Summary in English:
The protection of the individual in situations of armed conflict and his protection in situations of peace were split, for historical, social, political, and legal reasons. Dr Mohamed El Kouhene confronts these two branches of international law that recent developments have brought closer in a substantial way. He compares them from the perspective of the most fundamental rights of the person and puts them in relationship under their most sensitive aspect, namely the protection systems, their scope, their interdependencies. Although they are two separate legal systems, humanitarian law and human rights constitute, more than ever, a set of complementary standards and protection mechanisms.
This complementarity approach defended by the author in the first edition of the book in 1986 has not wavered over the years. On the contrary it flourished under the mutual influence of the doctrine and the international legislators and judges. The topic is still relevant, more than ever should we say, because in the dark environment where we live, the international community must mobilize all legal arsenals available to it to safeguard and enforce the rules that protect humanity.
This book is a re-issued version of the original text with new introduction and preface.

Forty-five Years of Dialogue Facilitation (1972–2017)

Ten Lessons from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Laurien Crump

The aim of this article is to investigate how the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (csce) succeeded in channelling the Cold War in a peaceful direction by facilitating a Pan-European dialogue during the second half of the Cold War (1972–1990), and what lessons we can learn from it today in terms of dialogue facilitation, so as to raise the profile of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and reduce international tensions. It is based on the hypothesis that the csce facilitated the ‘multilateralisation of European security’ through dialogue, and stabilised European relations by turning security into a joint venture. This article concludes with ten recommendations for facilitating dialogue through the osce so as to multilateralise European security again today.

Teona Giuashvili and Jaba Devdariani

This paper describes the role that the osce has played in the Geneva International Discussions, discussing the key political and institutional obstacles to effective mediation, as well as the creative institutional solutions that helped the osce to mediate and implement several specific projects of significant practical importance.

Oleg Shakirov

This article examines how increased tensions between Russia and the West in the wake of the Ukraine crisis impact the conflict management work of the osce. It first looks at Russian perspectives of the osce and focuses on how these changed in the post-2014 period. It then proceeds with an overview of implications resulting from geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West that could positively or negatively affect the role of the osce in conflict management in the long term. The article ends by laying out 4 scenarios on how the situation and the osce could evolve and argues that in the near future a continuation of the status quo is most probable.

Philip Remler

The feeling is widespread in the West that the post wwii normative international order has been under severe challenge since Russia’s seizure of Crimea, now exacerbated by statements from the American president casting doubt on the institutions that underpin that order. Is there a future role for osce mediation as this order erodes? Study of the Ukraine crisis in light of other protracted conflicts on the territory of the former Soviet Union shows that the same challenges have existed for a generation. Because the conflicts were small, however, the international community chose to accept a fiction of convenience to isolate them from an otherwise functioning international order: the narrative that the separatists sought independence, not (as in reality) a re-drawing of post-Soviet borders. This isolation is under pressure both from the new experience in Ukraine and from the extension of ever-greater Russian control over the separatists, amounting to crypto-annexation, despite a backlash from Moscow’s clients, including in Armenia. There is little likelihood of a resolution to the Ukraine crisis, including Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and prospects for mediation to resolve the conflicts remain dim. However, continued talks may resolve some humanitarian issues and provide a release valve to prevent pressures boiling over into renewed open warfare.

In 2015 the present author published an article outlining some effects of the Ukraine crisis on protracted conflicts in the osce area and on osce mediation in those conflicts.1 He has been asked to revisit his assessment of that time in light of subsequent events in world politics (in particular the advent of a new administration in the United States) and in the region. The new developments give little cause for optimism that settlement in any of the conflicts is closer. Rather, the question for the osce is whether the international community, in view of the challenges posed by the Ukraine crisis, should continue to engage in the fictions that have allowed it to manage the conflicts since their beginnings in the collapsing Soviet Union.

Zaur Shiriyev

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (osce) led Minsk Group – the principal mediator tasked with the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is often criticised by Azerbaijan, due to the stalemate in negotiations. The intensive period of engagement between 2006 and 2009 brought first the initial and then the “updated” Madrid Principles. This was the chief working document that set forth the basic principles for peaceful resolution. The inactivity of the Minsk Group is often conceded as the result of maintaining “minimalist goals” – preventing full scale war and trying to bring conflict parties to the negotiating table. The April war in 2016 tested the fragility of the first goal: preventing skirmishes from leading to larger scale conflict. Similarly, after the April 2016 war, the attempt to revitalise the second goal – i.e. bringing the parties to the negotiating table – also collapsed, due to the increased mistrust between the parties after the war.

The article will evaluate the geopolitical changes and their impact on the Minsk Group’s work since 2008, the reasons for the demands to change the format of the Minsk Group, and finally Azerbaijan’s perspectives on the limitations of the Minsk Group’s current mandate and mechanisms.

David Lanz

This article traces the development of osce mediation and provides elements to explain the ups and downs over time. The origins of osce mediation date back to the inception of the organisation during the Cold War period. However, it only became a mediator in the 1990s, playing different roles. This work suffered in the 2000s as the osce’s relevance was increasingly questioned. In recent years, the osce has seen renewed growth, owing to a political commitment by participating States to strengthen its mediation capacities and because of the leading role it took on in mediating the crisis in and around Ukraine. While this is a significant development, this article argues that the osce’s mediation role is likely to be limited, focusing on the niche of managing established formats and local conflict prevention.