The Arms Trade Treaty

Completed in September 2016

In 2009, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution setting out a timetable for the elaboration of a ‘strong and robust’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) with the ‘highest common standards’ to control international transfers of conventional arms.

The Geneva Academy team (Professor Clapham, Dr Casey-Maslen, Dr Giacca and Dr Annyssa Bellal) followed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations – the four preparatory committee meetings (PrepComs) which took place from 2010 to 2012 and the Diplomatic Conference held at the UN in New York from 2–27 July 2012. The team provided key information on the negotiations, notably via a daily blog.

TEAM

Picture of Annyssa Bellal

Annyssa Bellal

Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law

Annyssa Bellal's areas of expertise include public international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and armed non-state actors.

Picture of Stuart Casey-Maslen

Stuart Casey-Maslen

Picture of Gilles Giacca

Gilles Giacca

OUTPUT

Revision of the Advanced Draft Text

Published in October 2012, Geneva Academy Briefing No. 2, The Draft Arms Trade Treaty, reviews the advanced ATT draft text presented to the diplomatic conference in New York.

The Provisions of the Treaty

Following the General Assembly’s adoption of the ATT text on 2 April 2013, the Geneva Academy published Briefing No. 3, The Arms Trade Treaty, which summarizes the process that led to the formal adoption of the text and comments briefly on the provisions of the treaty.

Article 7: Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law

In August 2014, the Geneva Academy published Briefing No. 6, What Amounts to Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law, which analyzes the notion of ‘serious violation of international human rights law’ in relation to Article 7 of the ATT. This article requires a state party to assess, prior to the authorization of the export of conventional arms, the potential of these arms to contribute to the commission or the facilitation of a serious violation of international human rights law.

The Arms Trade Treaty: A Commentary

In August 2016, Andrew Clapham, with Stuart Casey-Maslen (University of Pretoria), Gilles Giacca (International Committee of the Red Cross) and Sarah Parker (Small Arms Survey) published The Arms Trade Treaty: A Commentary (Oxford University Press). This edited volume comprehensively discusses and interprets each provision of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), situating them vis-à-vis relevant legal regimes, including human rights, international humanitarian law and disarmament.

Publications

Cover of the Briefing No6: What Amounts to Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law

Briefing N°6: What Amounts to Serious Violations of International Human Rights Law?

August 2014

Takhmina Karimova

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of the Briefing No3: The Arms Trade Treaty

Briefing N°3: The Arms Trade Treaty

June 2013

Stuart Casey-Maslen, Gilles Giacca, Tobias Vestner

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of the Briefing No2: Draft Arms Trade Treaty

Briefing N°2: Draft Arms Trade Treaty

October 2012

Annyssa Bellal, Andrew Clapham, Stuart Casey-Malsen, Gilles Giacca

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Colombia, 2010: Mountains in the Valle del Cauca region, between Santander de Quilichao et Popayan. FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) combattants walking next to native houses. Military Briefings

Landmines and Other Explosive Devices: From a Tactic of War to a Threat to Peace

November 2018, 18:30-20:00

In this Military Briefing, co-organized with Geneva Call, panelists will discuss the operational challenges and opportunities of turning guerrillas into deminers.

Read more

Afghanistan, Parwan detention facility. Inside a room where detainees of the prison, separated by an acrylic glass, are allowed to meet with their families a couple of times per year with the help of the ICRC employees who facilitate the programme. Short Course

Preventing and Combating Terrorism

7 February - March 2019

This short course discusses the extent to which states may  limit and/or derogate from their international human rights obligations in order to prevent and counter terrorism and thus protect persons under their jurisdiction.

Read more

Short Course

The Law of Non-International Armed Conflicts

15- March 2019

This short course discusses the protection offered by international humanitarian law (IHL) in non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) and addresses some problems and controversies specific to IHL of NIACs, including the difficulty to ensure the respect of IHL by armed non-state actors.

Read more

Syria, Aleppo, Sheikh Massoud neighbourhood, near the frontline. Fighters of the Free Syrian Army. Project

‘Foreign Fighters’ and Counter-Terrorism

Completed in January 2014

Against the background of the mobilization of ‘foreign fighters’ for the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the Geneva Academy undertook various research projects to highlight and clarify a range of international law issues that arise through their participation and measures taken to stem their mobilization.

Read more

A Royal Air Force Reaper RPAS (Remotely Piloted Air System) at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan Project

Armed Drones and Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Law

Completed in January 2011

This project aimed in particular to address the legal and ethical challenges these new technologies pose in relation to the regulation of the use of force.

Read more