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Laws of War podcast

Discussing challenges to International Humanitarian Law

IHL in action

IHL Artwork

Why do wars have laws? Where did they come from and what do they mean for today's armed conflicts? How do these laws affect humanitarian agencies, armed forces, prisoners and non-combatants?

In this podcast, eminent academics and lawyers unpack the laws of war, drawing on examples from Syria to South Sudan, Ukraine to the United States.

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Listen to Laws of War episodes

Emerging weapons and IHL

Advances in science and technology have resulted in a rapid proliferation of new weapon systems, in particular cyber weapons and armed unmanned systems. ICRC Scientific and Policy Adviser, Neil Davison, discusses the impact that these developments could have on weapons proliferation, arms transfers, and their compatibility with international humanitarian law.

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Keeping it relevant: interpreting the Geneva Conventions in the 21st century

ICRC Legal Advisor Jean-Marie Henckaerts talks about his latest work as head of the ICRC project to update the commentaries on the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977.

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Truth of War

Former war correspondent for Time and CNN, Michael Ware, has survived kidnappings and an intended execution in a back street of Baghdad. Michael has rare insights from the frontline into death and the laws of war. His recent award-winning film 'Only the Dead' is screening around the world. Antony Balmain caught up with Michael Ware before a film festival screening.

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Pen and Sword: Journalism and IHL

Journalists witness and recount the horrific consequences of armed conflict, and are also among the most at risk of being wounded, kidnapped or killed as they carry out this vital role. Journalist Peter Cave, international law academic Dr Emily Crawford and the Australian Red Cross' Director of International Humanitarian Law and Movement Relations Dr Phoebe Wynn-Pope join Richard Aedy, host of ABC Radio National's Media Report, in discussing the media's role in conflict, the safety of journalists and the changes to conflict reporting brought about by social media.

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The Most Indiscriminate Weapon of All

Why is Australian Red Cross - a neutral and impartial organisation - calling on the world's governments to ban nuclear weapons? CEO Robert Tickner's leadership has built momentum within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement for a global campaign to make the use of nuclear weapons illegal and eliminate them forever. He makes a logical and impassioned argument, presenting evidence of how nuclear weapons cause suffering that cannot be limited by time, and why there can be no effective humanitarian response to a nuclear war.

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Turning Point or Breaking Point?

The founding director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, Dr Modirzadeh outlines how the law and its practices can work to protect civilians in armed conflict.

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A Centenary of War and Peace

Tim McCormack is a leading international authority on international humanitarian law (IHL) and the prosecution of war crimes. He retraces the establishment of Australian Red Cross in the frenzied days after the outbreak of World War I and its development into a leading humanitarian agency worldwide.

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