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This event will be hybrid, taking place in-person in the Bonavero Institute (Mansfield Road, Oxford) and online via Zoom. Please register here for online attendance.

This event forms part of the RSC seminar mini-series on Refugee History, Human Rights and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

About the event

On 26 January 2024, the International Court of Justice issued its Order for provisional measures in Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel).

Reading out the Order, ICJ President Joan Donoghue noted the 7 October 2023 attacks on Israel, calling for the release of all remaining hostages taken from Israel during these Hamas-led attacks in which some 1,200 people were massacred. Highlighting that the ICJ was ‘acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy unfolding in the region’, Judge Donoghue said that the court remained ‘deeply concerned about the continuing loss of life and human suffering.’

The Court ordered Israel to adopt six provisional measures ‘in relation to Palestinians in Gaza’, namely to: 1) take all measures within its power to prevent genocide; 2) ensure that its military does not commit genocide; 3) take all measures within its power to prevent and punish incitement to genocide; 4) take immediate and effective measures to enable urgent humanitarian assistance and basic services; 5) take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of  evidence relating to allegations of acts under article 2-3 of the Genocide Convention; and 6) report to the Court within one month about measures taken to give effect to the order. (The precise terms are available here).

The ICJ’s other recent jurisprudence under the Genocide Convention in Ukraine v. Russian Federation and The Gambia v. Myanmar reflects the increasing recourse to the ICJ and other international bodies in order to challenge atrocity crimes. So far, the ICJ’s jurisdiction in these cases was activated only  through the Genocide Convention, the wider implications for the laws of war, crimes against humanity and law on the use of force remain to be explored.

This event, organised by the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights in association with the Centre for Fundamental Rights, Hertie School, Berlin, and the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, aims to explore the legal implications of the ICJ’s Provisional Measures of 26 January 2024, in particular their implementation by Israel, third states and international organisations.

About the speakers

Janina Dill is the Dame Louise Richardson Chair in Global Security at the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, a Professorial Fellow of Trinity College Oxford, and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC). Her research concerns the role of law and morality in war. She develops legal and philosophical theories about how international law can be an instrument of morality in war, albeit an imperfect one. She also studies how normative considerations shape public opinion on the use of force and the attitudes of conflict-affected populations. In 2021, she won a Philip Leverhulme Prize  for work on the moral psychology of war. She currently co-convenes (with Scott Sagan) a research project on the "Law and Ethics of Nuclear Deterrence," which is part of the Research Network on Rethinking Nuclear Deterrence, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. She also works on a multi-year study on cumulative civilian harm in war funded by a joint grant from the UKRI and the National Science Foundation.

Victor Kattan is Assistant Professor in Public International Law at the University of Nottingham School of Law. Victor is a member of the Editorial Board of the Asian Journal of International Law and is Area Editor for the Middle East and Islam for Oxford Bibliographies of International Law. He was awarded the inaugural Asian Society of International Law Younger Scholar Prize for the best article published in the Asian Journal of International Law. Victor's recent publications include an edited book with Brian Cuddy, titled Making Endless War: The Vietnam and Arab-Israeli Conflicts in the History of International Law (Michigan University Press, 2023). His also the editor with Amit Ranjan of The Breakup of India and Palestine: The Causes and Legacies of Partition (Manchester University Press, 2023). Victor joined the School of Law at Nottingham University in July 2020 from Southeast Asia where he was based for several years at the School of Law and the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore. He moved to Singapore from Jerusalem where had been legal adviser to the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department in Ramallah on secondment from the United Nations Development Program. In that capacity, he advised the Palestinian leadership on treaty accession when it was conferred observer statehood by the UN General Assembly.

Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is an Associate Professor in International Refugee Law and co-Chair of LGBTQIA+ staff network (University of Reading). He is Associate Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Research Associate, Refugee Studies Centre (Oxford); Editor, the Reporter, Society of Legal Scholars; Senior Research Associate, Refugee Law Initiative (IALS) and editor of its Working Paper Series; Co-Convenor, ‘Migration and Exclusion Under Constitutions’ Research Group, International Association of Constitutional Law; Visiting Professor (University of Johannesburg). His research interest lie in international refugee law and access to asylum; international humanitarian law; international human rights; citizenship and its contents (including electoral participation). He hold DPhil, MPhil, BCL (Oxon), LLM (public law) (HUJI) and LLB & BA (economics) (Haifa).


Cathryn Costello is Full Professor of Global Refugee and Migration Law at the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin.  She was formerly Professor of Fundamental Rights and Co-Director of the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School (2020 – 2023), and remains a Visiting Professor at the Hertie School.  She is a leading scholar of international and European refugee and migration law and also explores the relationship between migration and labour law in her work. She was Professor of International Refugee and Migration Law at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford (2013-2023). She is currently the Principal Investigator of RefMig, an ERC-funded research project exploring refugee mobility, recognition and rights, and the Volkswagen Foundation funded AFAR project, based at the Hertie Centre for Fundamental Rights. She has also undertaken research for UNHCR, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. She holds a doctorate in law from the University of Oxford.


Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

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