Latest in International Law: LOAC

International Law

Attacking Iran’s Cultural Sites Would Violate the Hague Cultural Property Convention

President Trump has doubled down on his threat to bomb Iranian cultural sites if Iran attacks the United States in response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani. Administration officials should affirm publicly that the United States will comply with its legal obligations during armed conflicts.

Cybersecurity: LOAC-Military

Crossing a Cyber Rubicon? Overreactions to the IDF’s Strike on the Hamas Cyber Facility

Amid a massive exchange of rocket fire and airstrikes between Israel and both Hamas and Islamic Jihad this weekend, Hamas attempted a cyber operation against an unspecified civilian target in Israel. The operation failed, and in its aftermath the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out an airstrike that destroyed the building housing Hamas’s cyber capability. Some observers are citing the incident as an important—and perhaps dangerous—precedent. Others are questioning the legality of the strike itself. Both these views are misplaced.

Context

International Law

Is the U.N. Charter Law?

I think the question of whether the U.N. Charter is law is misleading or meaningless or both, for reasons that I hope this post will make apparent. But now that I have your attention, I want to sketch a few thoughts about the varied reactions to the airstrikes in Syria by the United States, Great Britain, and France.

Law of Armed Conflict

The Israel-Iran-Syria Clash and the Law on Use of Force

In the early hours of Saturday morning, an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace close to the Syrian border. Israel shot down the UAV and responded by attacking the command vehicle, deep inside Syrian territory, that was operating the drone. Syrian anti-aircraft missiles shot down one of the Israeli airplanes that participated in the strike over Israeli territory. In response, Israel bombed a dozen Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria.

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