This seminar will identify the different bases of contemporary insecurity and examine the legal regimes developed by international law to enhance security against violence, focusing on state security, collective security and individual security. It will outline the principal objectives and frameworks for these diverse legal regimes and the (often confrontational) inter-relationship between them (for example the jus ad bellum, including the responsibility to protect; jus in bello; international criminal law; human rights law; refugee law; weapons law; 'humanity's law'). It will also examine the strengths and weaknesses of each from the standpoint of security and how international law may in fact legitimise violence and thus contribute to insecurity. It will suggest that what is needed is a new understanding of what might be called 'a law of peace' based on a 'worldwide educational dialogue, multicultural in nature, to encourage a new vision of a security environment that makes the strengthening of the international legal order a categorical imperative.' In this civil society has an important role to play in convincing state leaders to perceive security in broad human security terms based upon both freedom from fear and freedom from want.
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