Conference: On the Front Line of Accountability

War Reporting and Related Contemporary Issues in International Humanitarian and Criminal Law

21 January 2011

Venue: T.M.C. Asser Instituut, R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22, The Hague

Organized by the Inter-Faculty Research Platform on International Criminal and Humanitarian Law


Organized as part of the launch activities of the Inter-Faculty Research Platform on International Criminal and Humanitarian Law initiated by the University of Amsterdam, the TMC Asser Instituut, Leiden University and the Free University Amsterdam, this conference proposes to examine interrelated issues pertaining to the multi-layered relationship between the media – specifically war correspondents – and the existing legal framework of international humanitarian (IHL) and international criminal law (ICL).

Considering the rapid evolution of contemporary modes and methods of conflict reporting over the course of the past two decades (including the Wikileaks phenomenon), alongside the reinvigoration of the international community’s commitment to the institution of a concrete international criminal justice framework, the conference will:

  1. Assess the changing face of contemporary war reporting from practical ‘front line’, legal and ethical perspectives;
  2. Critically examine the existing regime of protections for journalists under IHL with a view to establishing whether these protections are adequate or are in need of review or supplementation in the form of a dedicated protocol or independent covenant; and
  3. Consider the role of the war correspondent in the context of international criminal proceedings.

This conference will have an inherently cross disciplinary focus and will involve participants with both practical and academic experience in the areas of international criminal law, international humanitarian law, the political and social sciences and war journalism.  Speakers include Geoffrey Robertson QC who will provide the keynote address, Ben Anderson, Dr. Michael Kearney, Dr. Julia Hoffmann and David Leigh who is investigations executive editor at the Guardian newspaper.

For more information about the Conference, please see the Draft Programme

To register for the Conference, please follow this link.