European Union External Action

9th Vienna Course on International Law for Military Legal Advisers

17/11/2017 - 16:16
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A total of 22 participants from 12 different European countries are attending the '9th Vienna Course on International Law for Military Legal Advisers', held between October 2017 and January 2018 in Austria. The course consists of three modules, each of one week’s duration. The Vienna Course is organised by the Austrian Ministry of Defence and Sports under the auspices of the European Security and Defence College. It aims to contribute to the establishment of a common European security culture.

In the first module, from 9 to 13 October 2017, lecturers from five different countries conveyed core knowledge about the legal problems faced by military and security forces carrying out international crisis management operations (CMOs) and, more generally, the relevance of international law in such operations.
Lectures in the morning sessions covered topics such as the legal basis for military operations on foreign territory, the actors in international CMOs, the use of force in international military CMOs, status of forces agreement issues and human rights law in international military operations. In the afternoon sessions, participants practiced applying the law in the planning and execution of CMOs. Working in small groups, the participants had the opportunity to discuss and share different views and legal perspectives from their own countries. They then presented their results to the other participants in final plenary sessions at the end of the day.

A sightseeing tour, a welcome drink at the MoD and a dinner at a traditional Viennese Heuriger (tavern) gave everyone further time to share knowledge and deepen relations. Current political issues and experiences during missions were some of the topics discussed while enjoying Austrian food and wine.

After this first successful week, participants and lecturers alike are looking forward to the second module, which will focus on international humanitarian law.

The 9th Legal Advisor Course, which is led by Dr. Thomas DESCH (Austrian MoD)