Past eventResearch Event

Aiding and Assisting: Challenges in Armed Conflict and Counterterrorism

6 December 2016 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Chatham House, London


Douglas Wilson, Legal Director, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jennifer Gibson, Staff Attorney, Reprieve
Richard Hermer QC, Barrister, Matrix Chambers
Chair: Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Distinguished Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House



Armed conflicts are increasingly undertaken in coalition. States lend airbases, cooperate on drone operations and give each other intelligence information. They also cooperate in counterterrorism operations.

If a state assists another to carry out actions that are in violation of international law, is the assisting state complicit in that violation? Furthermore, if a drone strike is unlawful, is the government providing the targeting intelligence complicit? Are governments under a duty to check in advance the circumstances in which their assistance will be used? And what strategies should states use when deciding whether to provide assistance?

This event will mark the launch of a Chatham House research paper on complicity in armed conflict and counterterrorism. In addition to clarifying the law in this area, the paper provides a range of best practice recommendations for states providing assistance to other states.

The audience will include those working in armed conflict and counterterrorism from government, parliament, NGOs, academia, armed forces and embassies.

This event will be followed by a drinks reception.