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School of Law

Ms Elizabeth Stubbins Bates

BA (Oxford) LLM (Harvard) PGCertHE (LSE)

Overview

Elizabeth Stubbins Bates
Name:
Ms Elizabeth Stubbins Bates
Email address:
Thesis title:
Testing the Effectiveness of the British Army’s Training in International Humanitarian Law
Year of Study:
2
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

States are obliged to train members of the armed forces in international humanitarian law (IHL). In the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, this is part of the obligation to disseminate the Conventions and is related to the broader obligation to ‘respect and ensure respect’ for their provisions. Although the IHL training obligation applies in peace and war, and is reiterated in numerous treaties, it is under-theorised and seldom examined empirically.

This new research project examines the IHL training obligation, taking the British Army as a case study. It seeks to explore what constitutes effective training in international humanitarian law, to analyse the policy and institutional changes in the British Army’s IHL training since 2003, and to ascertain through anonymised questionnaires and interviews the content, consistency, form and frequency of the British Army’s training in lawful targeting and civilian protection. These norms include the deceptively simple principle of distinction between combatants and civilians, and the more opaque principle of proportionality, which requires a pre-emptive weighing of two qualitatively distinct values, in effect ‘balancing’ military necessity against civilian protection. Each of these principles is ripe for accurate or inaccurate understandings, and may be influenced by interpretive controversies in IHL and changes in Rules of Engagement. The project should add to the growing literature on international law compliance: reorienting the compliance inquiry away from the meta-level of the state to the understanding of law by individual soldiers and officers, and recognising the interpretive and operational complexity of IHL treaty norms.

PhD Publications

Book
  • Stubbins Bates, Elizabeth, Terrorism and International Law: Accountability, Remedies and Reform – A Report of the International Bar Association Task Force on Terrorism, edited by an IBA Task Force of Justice Richard Goldstone, HHJ Eugene Cotran, Gijs de Vries, Julia A. Hall, Juan Mendez, Javaid Rehman (Oxford University Press, 2011);
Article and Reports
  • Stubbins Bates, Elizabeth, ‘From Assertion to Solid Methodology in Customary International Human Rights Law’, Proceedings of the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting 2009;
  • Williams, Sarah, Cross, Matthew & Stubbins Bates, Elizabeth, ‘Implementation of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in the United Kingdom: Study Commissioned by the European Commission as part of the ATLAS Project’, (Atlas Project, 2009)
  • Stubbins, Elizabeth, ‘Occupation, armed conflict and the legal aspects of the relationship between Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip: A resource for practitioners’ (Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) Policy Brief, 2008);
  • Stubbins, Elizabeth, ‘From Legal Theory to Policy Tools: International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’ (Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) Policy Brief, 2008);
  • Stubbins, Elizabeth and Bassin, Ari, ‘Civilian Participation in Hostilities’, (Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) Policy Brief, 2008);
  • Stubbins, Elizabeth and Lehnardt, Chia, ‘Private Military and Security Companies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The International Law Framework’ (Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research (HPCR) Policy Brief, 2008).
Manuscript in Progress:
Journal Article
  • ‘Training Troops in International Humanitarian Law: New Thoughts on Compliance Theory’, to be submitted to Ethics & International Affairs in early 2014.
  • Under Review: ‘Testing the Effectiveness of Military Training in International Humanitarian Law’, submitted to the International Review of the Red Cross in 2013.

PhD Conferences

‘Training Military Personnel in International Humanitarian Law: What Works to Prevent Atrocities in Armed Conflict’, SOAS School of Law PhD Colloquium, December 2013.

‘Training Troops in International Humanitarian Law: New Thoughts on Compliance Theory’, Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Annual Meeting, University of Edinburgh, UK, 3-6 September 2013.

‘Is Dissemination Sufficient to Promote Compliance with International Humanitarian Law?’, Opinio Juris Emerging Voices Symposium, 13 August 2013.

‘Testing the Effectiveness of the British Army’s Training in International Humanitarian Law’, American Society of International Law (ASIL) 2nd Research Forum, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 20-21 October 2012

Research

  • International Humanitarian Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Jurisprudence/International Legal Theory