NATO Military Police

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Law of Armed Conflict and War Crime Investigations Conference

It was attended by over 40 participants from different NATO bodies (including HQ MNC NE, NRDC Italy, HQ ARRC, NATO MP COE and NATO SP COE), ministries of defence, national MP headquarters and international organisations.
The keynote speakers were as follows:
• Mr Stéphane KOLANOWSKI, the Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the EU, NATO and the Kingdom of Belgium in Brussels;
• Mr Pascal TURLAN, the International Criminal Court (ICC-CPI);
• COL Gilles CASTEL, Military Department Deputy Director of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo;
• Dr Marcin MARCINKO, the Polish Red Cross;
• COL Georgi KARAMFILOV, the Bulgarian National Defence College;
• Mr Martin SCOTT and Ms Ashley JORDANA, the Global Rights Compliance.

The Conference was divided into four main sessions:
• Introduction to the law of armed conflict, the legal framework of LOAC and the MP doctrinal approach to war crime investigations;
• Contemporary LOAC digest, brief the main challenges and emergent issues in international humanitarian law (IHL); the ICRC role and perspective on LOAC compliance; the notion of hostilities and other related terms under LOAC; CIMIC tasks in the aspect of war crimes; use of force in operations, law enforcement and the rules of engagement; NATO SOFA and the stability policing approach to war crime investigations;
• MP and their role as First Responders to war crimes;
• International and national approach to war crimes, the International Criminal Court, its jurisdiction and authority; the academic and legal approach to war crime investigations, the interplay between conduct of hostilities paradigm and the law enforcement paradigm; national and IO’s approach to war crimes.

The purpose of the Conference was to promote ideas in a way that will advance the common understanding of LOAC as well as to gain points of view that might not have been otherwise considered. The conference also encouraged the development of common understanding of the national and international law applicable to investigating war crimes, especially in the nature of international co-operation between the MP and other law enforcement entities.