IHL updates tackled in Davao meet

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/16 May) — Law professors from across the Philippines will discuss the latest in international humanitarian law at the first IHL Professors’ Convention in Davao City on May 17 and 18, a statement from the Manila office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

Thirty participants from key Philippine universities will have the opportunity to learn updates on such issues as the passage of legislation making genocide, crimes against humanity and breaches of IHL offenses under Philippine law, the statement added.

ICRC legal adviser Evecar Cruz-Ferrer said academics and law students should learn about the law of armed conflict and its application to the Philippine context.

All law schools in the Philippines teach IHL as part of international law, while seven universities offer IHL as a separate subject, the ICRC noted.

Prominent IHL professors and lawyers including Dean Raul Pangalangan, Dean Sedfrey Candelaria, Prof. Harry Roque Jr., Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino and Dr. Hilton Aguja will speak at the convention.

ICRC regional legal adviser Richard Desgagne will present a new ICRC study on non-international armed conflict and explain how the organization supports the implementation of IHL, while Cruz-Ferrer will talk about the ICRC’s role in teaching IHL and getting it incorporated into national legislation and practice.

“The convention demonstrates that academics are committed to strengthening compliance with IHL, in a country affected by decades of armed conflict,” Cruz-Ferrer said.

Since the late 1960s the Philippines has been beset by communist and Moro rebellions with which the government has held on-and-off peace negotiations. (MindaNews)