Thursday, 3 September 2015

Upcoming Guest Lecture: Dr Rain Liivoja

The International Law Centre at the Swedish Defence University are very pleased to welcome Dr Rain Liivoja from the University of Melbourne to share his work in this exciting field which is also the subject of research at the centre.

Dr Rain Liivoja
Bioenhanced Soldiers and the Prohibition of Unnecessary Suffering

9 September 2015, 1500hrs
Rm 206A&B, Swedish Defence University, Drottning Kristinas väg 37

The 2012 movie The Bourne Legacy featured intelligence operatives who had been genetically engineered and pharmacologically tweaked for superior mental and physical performance. This is not as far-fetched as one might think: artificial enhancement, maintenance or restoration of human cognitive and physical performance is something actively pursued by advanced armed forces. This presentation seeks to examine bioenhancement in relation to the well-established rule of the law of armed conflict prohibiting the use of means and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering. If enhancement techniques produce more durable, pain- and fatigue-resistant soldiers, does that have an impact on what amounts to unnecessary suffering? Could enhanced soldiers be attacked using means and methods of warfare that would be prohibited otherwise? Would this lead to a different legal standard for weapons used against ordinary and enhanced soldiers?
Rain Liivoja is a Senior Lecturer and Society in Science – Branco Weiss Fellow at Melbourne Law School, where he co-directs the Programme on the Regulation of Emerging Military Technology (PREMT). Rain is also an Affiliated Research Fellow of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki. His research focuses on the regulatory challenges associated with military applications of biosciences. Rain is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, chair of the International Peace and Security Interest Group of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law, and a member of the Australian Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Committee (Victorian Division). Rain holds a doctorate in public international law from the University of Helsinki.