The next publication of The War Report: 2013 is schedule to be released by Oxford Press on December 6, 2014. The War Report: 2013 is the second in a series of annual reports that will give an overview of armed conflicts and occupations for that particular year, and is designed as a resource for those working in the field, governments, policy-makers, journalists and the United Nations.
For the year 2012, The War Report reported 37 armed conflicts on the territory of 24 states; of the 38 only one was an active international armed conflict, between South Sudan and Sudan. Also reported were 9 “belligerent occupations”, which fall under laws governing international armed conflicts. These occupations included the occupation of Azerbaijan by Armenia; Cyprus by Turkey; Eritrea by Ethiopia; Georgia by Russia; Lebanon by Israel; Moldova by Russia; Palestine by Israel; Syria by Israel; and Western Sahara by Morocco. Each of the occupations reported have the following headings: Classification of the Conflict; Summary of Applicable International Law; History of the Conflict; Parties to the Conflict; Casualties; Displacement; and War Crimes Allegations, Investigations, and Prosecutions.
The genevalunch.com reported, “The long-term trend from officially declared wars between sovereign states to armed conflicts inside states and territories has important implications for international justice,” says Dr. Stuart Casey-Maslen, editor of The War Report. “Without a clearer legal basis for what constitutes an armed conflict under international law, accused perpetrators of war crimes will not be prosecuted.”
“The classification of an armed conflict under international law is an objective legal test and not a decision left to national governments or any international body, not even the UN Security Council,” says Andrew Clapham, Director of the Academy and Graduate Institute Professor in International Law.
“It is not always clear when a situation is an armed conflict, and hence when war crimes can be punished,” added Professor Clapham. “The War Report aims to change this and bring greater accountability for criminal acts perpetuated in armed conflicts.”
On May 24, 2014, Dr. Maslen notified Dr. Keanu Sai by email that Hawai‘i would be noted in the next publication of The War Report: 2013. When Dr. Sai met with Dr. Maslen at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law’s office in Geneva on March 26, 2014, the staff of the War Report was already in their final stages of editing the reported armed conflicts and occupations for the year 2013 before submitting the manuscript to Oxford Press. Dr. Sai sought to have Hawai‘i included, but realized at the meeting it was too late for this edition.
At the meeting, Dr. Sai presented a power point presentation on the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom and how it came under an illegal and prolonged occupation. Dr. Maslen was also provided with information and evidence of the occupation. In March, Dr. Maslen assured Dr. Sai that a decision would be made and if it has been determined that Hawai‘i is occupied according to the Academy’s criteria it will be listed on its website Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts in June. The website provides monthly updates on armed conflicts and occupations and is currently under construction, but was scheduled to be completed by June. Dr. Maslen also told Dr. Sai in the email that the website will be completed at the end of July instead of June as previously thought.
It would appear that the information on Hawai‘i’s occupation is what prompted Dr. Maslen to note Hawai‘i’s occupation in the publication of The War Report: 2013. Dr. Sai was very thankful to Dr. Maslen and his staff for the last minute notation, and he has been told that the Geneva Academy will be monitoring the developments in Hawai‘i for inclusion in the next publication, which will be released in December 2015.