ICRC and NCHL host joint series on weapons prohibition

Legal experts in international humanitarian law from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the National Committee of Humanitarian Law of Iran (NCHL) hosted discussions this week promoting the prohibition of certain weapons.

These discussions were held Tuesday at the Allameh Tabatabaee University in Tehran during their conference on chemical weapons. The following day the institution launched the Persian translation of Elements of War Crimes under the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court, written by Knut Doermann, the head of the ICRC Legal Division.

"International criminal justice mechanisms are vitally important to ensure better compliance with humanitarian law," Doermann said. "But we need to remember that the suppression of war crimes is first and foremost the responsibility of domestic jurisdictions. Compliance with humanitarian law can also be achieved through dialogue, training and immediate action to tackle violations."

A main focus of these discussions was how humanitarian law is applicable to new and emerging weapons technology. Oliver Martin, the head of the ICRC mission in Iran, expressed excitement for the continuation of exchanges.

"The aim of this first ever round table was to enable views to be exchanged freely on the impact in humanitarian terms of certain weapons and how their use is governed by international humanitarian law," Martin said.