International Humanitarian Law:

Current Challenges in a Globalised World



Sergiy Petukhov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine on European Integration, Head of the Interdepartmental Commission on Implementation of IHL in Ukraine 2015-2017
Oksana Senatorova – PhD, Associate Professor at the International Law Department, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University

Conditions of application of international humanitarian law and implementation of humanitarian activities have undergone significant changes in recent years. Today’s conflicts last a long time, are mediated by the participation of non-state armed groups and characterized by the use of new types of weapons and technologies, complicated access to people in need of help, as well as an increase in the number of volunteer institutions and individuals seeking to provide assistance in armed conflicts.

The proliferation of armed conflicts raises questions about their legal qualification, status of belligerents and, accordingly, the proper legal regime. The consequences of modern armed conflicts go far beyond theatres of war, causing migration crises and widespread violations of the rights of civilians. Among global and regional challenges facing the international community today is a blatant disregard for humanitarian values and human rights, the increase in numbers of non-state actors in armed conflict, transnational terrorism and cyber attacks.

The existing set of legal rules of international humanitarian law is not perfect, but the main global challenge today is the lack of respect for these norms and the imperfection of mechanisms for their provision. In this regard, the central task of the Panel discussion “International Humanitarian Law: Global and Regional Challenges” is the formation of a model of continuous interaction between the academic community, NGOs and government institutions on the most pressing issues of legal regulation of armed conflicts in the context of modern challenges, identification of priority areas of work in the field of modernization of scientific research and educational activities, dissemination of knowledge and strengthening respect for international humanitarian law/

The first session of the panel was opened by Sergiy Petukhov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine on European Integration.

Key speakers


Prof. Marco Sassòli – professor of international law at the University of Geneva Switzerland and associate professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. Prof. Sassòli has worked from 1985-1997 for the ICRC at the headquarters, inter alia as deputy head of its legal division, and in the field, inter alia as head of the ICRC delegations in Jordan and Syria and as protection coordinator for the former Yugoslavia. He has also served as executive secretary of the ICJ, as registrar at the Swiss Supreme Court.

Dr. Dieter Fleck is Honorary President of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War; Member of the Advisory Board of the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) and Rapporteur of the Committee on Nuclear Weapons, Non-Proliferation and Contemporary International Law of the International Law Association. Dr. Fleck has served as legal advisor in the Federal Ministry of Defence (1972-1974, and 1981-2004), where he was last Director International Agreements & Policy.
Dr. Vincent-Joël Proulx – Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore’s Faculty of Law. He served as Special Assistant to the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague; as Legal Officer to the Vice-President of the ICJ. He worked at both the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the ICJ. Dr. Proulx was appointed Secrétaire-rédacteur at the last four sessions of the Institut de Droit International and Director of Studies for the 2022 winter session of The Hague Academy of International Law.
Nicolas Fleury is the Deputy Head of the ICRC’s Delegation in Ukraine. He has worked in the international and governmental sectors for over 20 years. He has worked with the ICRC since 2001 in several contexts including Uzbekistan, Nagorny Karabagh, Russian Federation and Somalia.

Dr. Bruno Husquinet – independent humanitarian affairs specialist, the Deputy Head of the ICRC delegation in Moscow 2014-2015. He has been working in conflict zones since 2003, headed the offices of the ICRC in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan during the period of escalation of armed conflicts. Now is working in conflict zones again.  Leveraging on his professional experience and his background in Slavic Studies, he provides strategic support to profit and non-profit institutions.

Dr. Prof. Justinas Žilinskas – professor at the Department of International and EU Law at Mykolas Romeris University (Vilnius, Lithuania), an acting expert for the Lithuanian Academy of Science (from 2011). Since 2011, he is a member of the Lithuanian National Group of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (Hague) and the member of International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission (IHFFC) (from 2012)
Ms. Nishat Nishat – the Legal Adviser to the ICRC’s Operations in Ukraine. She holds LLM in international humantiarian law at Geneva Academy of Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She joined the ICRC in 2010 and has worked as a legal adviser and a protection delegate in Afghanistan, Philippines, South Sudan and at the ICRC Headquarters in Geneva. 

Dr. Cindy Wittke is the leader of the research group “Frozen and Unfrozen Conflicts” at the Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg. Additionally, she is an external programme associate of the Peace Agreement Access Tool (PA-X) Database of the Political Settlement Research Programme, University of Edinburgh. From 2014-2017 she was a senior researcher and lecturer with the Department of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Konstanz.

Dr. Andrey L. Kozik – Secretary-General of International Law and Arbitration Association (Belarus, BILA), Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War (Brussels), Member of the Panel of ICSID Conciliators (Washington, DC),  Member of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 Group (Tallinn).
Dr. Prof. Olga Butkevych – Doctor of International Law, Professor of the Chair of International Law, Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.