Chapter on synthetic biology and international law in the Routledge Handbook of War, Law and Technology

Hellestveit has co-authored a chapter on Synthetic biology and the Biological Weapons Convention in the Routledge Handbook of War, Law and Technology  with Filippa Lentzos. The chapter traces recent developments and trends in weaponization of synthetic biology, and assesses whether the categorical ban on biological weapons under international law applies to synthetic biology , identifying some of the faultlines.

Routledge Handbook of War, Law and Technology: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The case for a treaty on marine plastic pollution

The call for a new international treaty on marine plastic pollution is growing in strength. Scholars and civil society actors are now calling for a global regulatory framework to be put in place. At the first session of the open-ended ad hoc expert group on marine plastic litter and microplastics, held on 29–31 May 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya, an increasing number of States clearly articulated the need for such a treaty.

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Genocide and non-state perpetrators under international law

Hellestveit made a presentation  at an international conference in September 2018 to commemorate The UN Genocide Convention at 70: The Politics of Mass Atrocity Prevention  at a session addressing non-state perpetrators of mass-atrocities.  Hellestveit’s paper, entitled  Tribes, Thugs, Terrorists, and the Law: Non-Conventional Armed Violence and the Genocide Convention analyses the particular challenges that arise under international law for holding non-state actors accountable for genocide. A revised version of the paper will be published in a forthcoming book, edited by Joyce A Apsel, Ellen Stensrud and Anton Weiss-Wendt.

The TPNW: Setting the record straight

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is steadily attracting new adherents and is likely to enter into force in the next few years. Numerous states, NGOs, and scholars have praised the adoption of the treaty as a welcome addition to the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. But the treaty continues to face vocal resistance, including from a number of UN member states. Reviewing the main objections raised by sceptics, we suggest that the debate over the TPNW text and negotiating process in some ways constitutes a sideshow that masks the real source of opposition: profound differences over the acceptability of nuclear weapons. The most fundamental objection to the TPNW is that it delegitimizes the policy of nuclear deterrence. Continue reading “The TPNW: Setting the record straight”

Trump publishes report on legal and policy framework for the use of military force

Following the election of Donald Trump in November 2016, the Obama administration rushed to finalize a report on existing legal and policy framework guiding military operations, published in December 2016. The objective was to identify current practices and understandings by the US administration, and force subsequent administrations to identify changes to this understanding and policy.US report on the legall and policy framework guiding military operations 2016 The next report was published by the Trump administration in March 2018, containing elements of updates and of changes made by the Trump-administration. The report is annexed here: US report on the legal and policy framework guiding military operations 2018