Aurel Sari

About Aurel Sari

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So far Aurel Sari has created 93 blog entries.
2017 December

Is it lawful to destroy the enemy?

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“A dead terrorist can’t cause any harm to Britain,” said the Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson in a Daily Mail interview in December 2017. “I do not believe that any terrorist, whether they come from this country or any other, should ever be allowed back into this country,” he continued. “We should do everything we can do to destroy and eliminate that threat.” Mr Williamson’s comments sparked widespread consternation in the UK press, having been condemned as contrary to international law. In this post, published on Lawfire, Michael Schmitt and I examine whether this really is the case.

2017 October

Was the drone strike on IS recruiter Sally Jones lawful?

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Sally Jones, a British member of Islamic State (IS), was reportedly killed by a US drone strike in June 2017 inside Syria. Her 12-year-old son, JoJo, is believed to have been killed alongside her. In news reports about the strike, which has come to light only recently, there has been confusion about the legal framework governing the operation. An article in the Guardian assessed its legality in light of the rules governing the use of force, which determine under what circumstances states may use force in international relations. However, whether or not Jones and her son were lawful targets depends on an entirely different body of law, known as the law of armed conflict – or international humanitarian law – which regulates the conduct of hostilities once an armed conflict has come into existence. In this post, I briefly consider what the law of armed conflict has to say about the strike.

2017 October

Law as an asymmetric capability

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I am re-posting a news item from the Exeter Centre for International Law: ‘Law is an asymmetric capability’ was the message that Dr Aurel Sari conveyed at two international conferences last month. Speaking on 13 September 2017 before an audience of military and civilian legal advisors in Stuttgart (Germany), Dr Sari offered an overview

2016 December

Writing on the Wall: The Format of the Article 50 Notification

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Does a notice to withdraw from the EU pursuant to Article 50 TEU have to be in written form? The Treaty of Lisbon has left this question open. In its second paragraph, Article 50 TEU declares that a ‘Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention.’ Nothing in this passage dictates that the notice has to be made in writing, yet nothing indicates that it may not be made in writing either. However, three points should be borne in mind in this context.

2016 November

EX Trident Juncture 16

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Trident Juncture 16 was my fifth exercise with the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). This year, the ARRC returned to RAF St Mawgan, just outside of Newquay in Cornwall. The purpose of the exercise was to evaluate NATO Joint Force Command HQ in Naples before it assumes the role of the headquarters for NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2017. The exercise was also designed to certify that the ARRC is ready to assume the role of the Land Component Command of the VJTF next year.

2016 October

Biting the Bullet: Why the UK Is Free to Revoke Its Withdrawal Notification under Article 50 TEU

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‘There is no going back.’ These were the words of Lord Pannick, uttered before the High Court in response to the question whether the United Kingdom could rescind its notification to withdraw from the European Union once issued under Article 50 TEU (Santos and M v Secretary of State for Exiting The European Union, uncorrected transcripts, p. 17). The claimants and the Government appear to agree on this point and accept that the UK cannot reverse its notification of withdrawal. This post explains why this position does not reflect the law.