Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, Newnham campusSummary:
Professor Tim McCormack discusses the rules of war designed to limit human suffering in the 2020 John West Memorial Lecture.
- Professor Tim McCormack
32nd John West Memorial Lecture
International Humanitarian Law (also known as the Law of War or the Law of Armed Conflict) imposes legal constraints on the way war can be conducted in an attempt to alleviate human suffering. Professor Tim McCormack will discuss the mid-19th Century emergence of the notion of humanitarian constraint and demonstrate that although motivations may have been genuine, they were also exclusionary. The intended beneficiaries of humanity in war were “civilised peoples” and there was never any intention to apply the same legal protections to “savages”. This exclusion resulted in a harsh reality in Van Diemen’s Land as well as in many other conflicts around the world.
Professor Tim McCormack is the Dean of the University of Tasmania Law School and the Special Adviser on War Crimes to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He was the founding Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law at the Melbourne Law School (1996-2010) and is an internationally recognised expert on International Humanitarian Law and on International Criminal Law. He was recently Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School in the US (January 2020) and has held a number of other significant international appointments. Tim was born in Launceston and grew up in Burnie.
The annual lecture organised by the Launceston Historical Society is held in partnership with the University of Tasmania.