Monday, 31 October 2016

Seminar on the protection of the environment during armed conflicts – 8 November

The International Law Centre is holding an event on the protection of the environment during armed conflicts with Dr. Britta Sjöstedt at Försvarshögskolan on Tuesday 8 November 14:00-15:30

Dr. Britta Sjöstedt is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Lund University, Sweden, researching and teaching public international law, in particular, the use of force, international humanitarian law and transitional justice. She is currently appointed director of the course public international law at the Swedish Law Programme. Britta defended her PhD thesis in May 2016, which focused on questions on how international humanitarian law and international environmental law protect the environment during armed conflict and how to reconcile these two branches of international law. She has published several articles and book chapters related to her research topic and been involved in the work of the International Law Commission on the topic Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflict. Britta was rewarded with the prestigious Australian Endeavour Research Scholarship in 2014 to conduct research at the University of New South Wales, Australia. In 2015, she was admitted to the League of European Research Universities (LERU) visiting programme and within this programme she made a research visit at Leiden Law School (May, 2015). She is also a contributor to the international law blog ‘Intlawgirrls’.

The seminar will focus on how environmental treaties, also referred to as multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), can enhance the protection of the environment during armed conflicts. The topic covers both international and non-international armed conflicts, as well as the immediate aftermath of armed conflicts.

In warfare, environmental harm can lawfully take place if it serves to attain successful military operations. This is because the law of armed conflict is considered to apply as the lex specialis in wartime. Dr. Sjöstedt suggests that instead of determining which rule prevails, a ‘reconciliatory approach’ can be undertaken if two rules are normatively incoherent and apply to the same subject matter at the same time. The approach opens up the possibility for harmonisation of the obligations of MEAs and the law of armed conflict, and opts for a complementary application of both legal frameworks in order to safeguard the environment.

The event will be held in English at Försvarshögskolan, Drottning Kristnas Väg 37 in room N203A+B. If you are interested in attending, email: