Over the past few months, the mass movement of Syrian migrants into and across Europe has transfixed the international community. Though international law governs the decisions as to whether these Syrians are eligible for protection against refoulement (return to torture or persecution), the texts of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the UN Convention Against Torture have nothing to say about the process through which these protection determinations happen.
Use of Force, and International Humanitarian Law
On May 18, 2015, the European Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2015/778 (Decision) launching the European Union Naval Force – Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) with the aim of disrupting the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean. The operational headquarters is located in Rome.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has caused considerable loss of life, bodily injury, and destruction of property and infrastructure in Iraq and Syria since its emergence in 2013. Indeed, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq estimates that between January and August 2014, 8,493 civilians were killed and more than 15,782 civilians were injured by ISIL and its associated groups. In recent months,