Secret meeting at Harvard to scrap Geneva convention

Stuart Lawrence stuartwl at
Fri Jan 31 09:17:16 MST 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "LouPaulsen" <LouPaulsen at>

> This meeting has been REALLY hard to research.

So what have you found in your research that has made you conclude this is a
"secret meeting to scrap" the Geneva Conventions? After looking at the links
you gave, that seems wildly overstated. The meeting is described on as a
research-oriented conference:

"The goal of the meeting is to develop a research agenda on IHL addressing
the core legal challenges faced by international organizations, governments
and parties to armed conflicts in the application of law."

from an FAQ page:

What is the agenda?
Topics for discussion are being developed through preparatory consultations
with invited states, organizations, and experts from the academic and NGO

What is the goal of the meeting?
The goal of the meeting is to identify and elaborate an agenda for a process
of further research and discussion which the participants believe would
assist in addressing key legal challenges arising from the interpretation
and application of IHL to contemporary conflict situations.

What are the meeting outcomes?
A Chairs' Summary will be published at the conclusion of the meeting,
summarizing the content and general thrust of the discussion (without
attribution to participants). The meeting will not make recommendations
regarding the interpretation, application or revision of the current law
generally or in regard to specific conflict situations.

What happens after the meeting?
State, organizational, academic and civil society experts will undertake
research and discussion on the themes and questions identified in the

It all sounds quite in keeping with the idea that international law is an
academic affair, in every sense. Is there any more evidence that the meeting
is part of a US effort to vitiate the Geneva conventions than that it was
initiated as a response to growing US dismissal of its IHL obligations?


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