On 11 December 2015, the Stockton center hosted a Seminar Series with Ms. Sareta Ashraph who is the chief analyst for the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. She is in charge of reporting, documenting and tracking violations, with the goal of facilitating accountability, potentially through the International Criminal Court or ad hoc tribunals. The other presenter was Mr. Pishko Shamsi who leads the investigation on ISIS rule in eastern Syria for the UN Commission. They discussed their on-going work that involved hundreds of in-person interviews of Syrian refugees that are displaced in neighboring countries and phone or video interviews of Syrians still in the country as the the Syrian government won’t allow the commission within its borders. Among other matters, the inquiry focuses on the actions of Assad's government as well as numerous groups resembling criminal gangs. The UN Commission on Syria is similar to the commission of inquiry on Libya during the final period of the Qaddafi regime, producing a report documenting crimes against Libyans and minorities.
On November 20, 2015, the Stockton Center hosted its weekly Seminar Series on the topic of Head of State Immunity & International Criminal Court Jurisdiction Over Nationals of Non-Party States. During this seminar, Monique Cormier presented her ongoing PhD research on the topic. Ms. Cormier's analysis focuses on the situations in Afghanistan, Georgia, Palestine, and Ukraine. She examines the conceptual foundations of criminal jurisdiction and delegation in international law as well as how underlying interpretive assumptions can have important consequences for arguments about the ICC's legal basis of jurisdiction. Using the aforementioned case studies, she analyzes how the ICC might lawfully exercise jurisdiction over an incumbent head of state from a state not party to the Rome Statute. Ms. Cormier is a Sessional Lecturer and PhD candidate at Melbourne Law School. She is currently a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School.
On September 11, 2015, the Stockton Center hosted its weekly Seminar Series on the topic of Detention in NIACs. Major Jason Coats (US Army), Lieutenant Commander David Goddard (UK Royal Navy), and Sasha Radin provided a presentation on entitled “Competing Concepts of Security Detention in NIAC.” After providing an overview of the interaction of Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law in armed conflict, they discussed Serdar Mohammed v. MOD at length. Using this case as a framework, the group discussed competing concepts of the authority to detain in NIAC, the future development of the law in this area, and the current U.S. position. Attendees at this event included members of the Stockton Center and Professor Peter Margulies of Roger Williams Law School.
On November 13, 2015, members of the Stockton Center met with Major Chris Ford to discuss current Legal Issues in Syria. Topics discussed included Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bellow, War Crimes, and this history and current state of the conflict. Major Ford is currently assigned to the Stockton Center as Military Professor and was the workshop director for the recently concluded workshop Syria: Can International Law Cope?
On October 30, 2105, members of the Stockton Center met with Stockton Center Director Mike Schmitt to discuss aspects of the "Tallinn Manual 2.0" process. The group discussed the use of force, armed attack, countermeasures, the obligation of due diligence, and attribution in the cyber context.
On October 16, 2015, the Stockton Center hosted its Seminar Series on the topic of "International Human Rights Law Framework. During this seminar, Lieutenant Commander David Goddard (UK Royal Navy) explained the instruments, institutions and norms that constitute contemporary IHRL. An area of law that traditionally receives relatively little attention in the U.S. military legal community, IHRL is nevertheless an important area of study, not least for its impact on States with which the United States operates in coalition. David's presentation constitutes a part of his ongoing Ph.D research on the application of IHRL to Maritime Security Operations. He is currently assigned to the Stockton Center as the Associate Director for the Law of Coalition Warfare while he completes his Ph.D.
On September 18, 2015, the Stockton Center hosted its weekly Seminar Series on the topic of Autonomous Weapons. During this seminar, Tim McFarland presented his research for his upcoming publication in the International Review of the Red Cross entitled, “How Lawyers Should Think About Autonomy.” Mr. McFarland is a Ph.D candidate at the Melbourne University Law School. He is a member of the Program on the Regulation of Emerging Military Technology.
On July 24, 2015, the Stockton Center hosted its weekly Seminar Series on the topic of the legal implications of current military operations in the Middle East.The topic was facilitated by Commander James Farrant (UK Royal Navy), who is current assigned to the US Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain. The discussion covered a broad range of topics including detention, freedom of navigation, and other aspects of maritime law.at the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law and his PhD is on autonomous weapons and the law of armed conflict. In this article he challenges some of the overly simplistic analysis in contemporary academic legal literature on autonomous weapons systems.