[HILAC Lecture] Dr Rebecca Sutton: 'The humanitarian civilian - How the idea of distinction circulates within and beyond international humanitarian Law'

06 - 06 September 2021
  • Starts at: 16:00h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: Online
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  •   Register

On September 6, 2021, Rebecca Sutton will present the HILAC Lecture 'The Humanitarian Civilian. How the Idea of Distinction Circulates Within and Beyond International Humanitarian Law'. Register here.

In international humanitarian law (IHL), the principle of distinction delineates the difference between the civilian and the combatant, and it safeguards the former from being intentionally targeted in armed conflicts. In this HILAC lecture, Dr Rebecca Sutton will invite us to explore the way in which the idea of distinction circulates within, and beyond, IHL.

Taking a bottom-up approach, her multi-sited study follows distinction across three realms: the kinetic realm, where distinction is in motion in South Sudan; the pedagogical realm, where distinction is taught in civil-military training spaces in Europe; and the intellectual realm, where distinction is formulated and adjudicated in Geneva and the Hague.

About the speaker 
Rebecca Sutton is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, where she conducts research on the role of emotions in humanitarian negotiation and in IHL pedagogy. Rebecca received her PhD in International Law from the London School of Economics in 2018, and she has held positions at the EUI, McGill University, Melbourne Law School, and the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. Her first book, The Humanitarian Civilian, was published by OUP in February 2021. Rebecca's scholarship also appears in journals such as African Affairs and Leiden Journal of International Law. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Rebecca has engaged in 'participatory action research' with young Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. In 2020, Rebecca piloted a new module on emotional intelligence and conflict resolution for LLM students at Edinburgh Law School.

Dr Sutton’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session moderated by Asser researcher Dr Rebecca Mignot-Mahdavi.

About the HILAC lecture series
The Hague Initiative for Law and Armed Conflict (HILAC) Lecture Series is an occasional lecture series on the subject of law and armed conflict organised by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut since 2005, in cooperation with the Netherlands Red Cross and the Amsterdam Center for International Law, and held at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut.