Professor Nils Melzer

  • Professor in International Law (School of Law)

Biography

Professor Melzer also holds the Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and currently serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 

Professor Melzer has served for 12 years with the International Committee of the Red Cross in various zones of conflict and violence. After leaving the ICRC, he held academic positions as Research Director of the Swiss Competence Centre on Human Rights (University of Zürich), as Swiss Chair for International Humanitarian Law (Geneva Academy) and as Senior Fellow for Emerging Security Challenges (Geneva Centre for Security Policy), and has represented civil society in the Steering Committee of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. Most recently, Melzer served as Senior Security Policy Adviser to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. 

Professor Melzer has authored award winning and widely translated works including inter alia, "Targeted Killing in International Law" (Oxford, 2008, Guggenheim Prize 2009), the ICRC's "Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities" (2009), and the ICRC's official handbook "International Humanitarian Law - a Comprehensive Introduction" (2016). He also authored the EU Parliament's legal and policy study on "Human Rights Implications of the Usage of Drones and Robots in Warfare" (2013), and co-authored the NATO CCDCOE "Tallinn Manual on the International Law applicable to Cyber Warfare" (Cambridge, 2013), and the NATO MCDC "Policy Guidance Autonomy in Defence Systems", (NATO ACT, 2014). 


Research interests

Throughout his career, Professor Melzer has fought to preserve human dignity and the rule of law through the relentless promotion, reaffirmation and clarification of international legal standards offering protection to those exposed to armed conflicts and other situations of violence. 

Professor Melzer is a specialized international lawyer with a strong background in humanitarian and diplomatic practice. Most notably, he has served with the International Committee of the Red Cross for 12 years as a delegate, legal adviser and acting head of delegation in various zones of conflict and violence. Professor Melzer has also served with the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs as a senior security policy adviser, including on the regulation and supervision of private security services exportation and on the development and international representation of Government policies on cyber security and autonomous weapons. On 30 September 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed him the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 

In general:

  • International law and the international, national and human aspects of global security. 

In particular:

  • International and national rule of law; human rights law; the laws of armed conflict; United National law; general principles of law and the international ordre public
  • Freedom from torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment; 
  • Use of force in interstate-relations, military hostilities, law enforcement and individual self-defence; 
  • Legal and security implications of new technologies, including cyber-technology and autonomous systems; 
  • Legal implications of the rise of non-state actors on the world stage, including private security contractors, organized armed groups and transnational crime.

Supervision

Professor Melzer is interested in supervising research students in international law, and in particular in the following areas: human rights law, humanitarian law, UN law, custom and general principles of law.


Additional information

  • Joint winner of Paul Guggenheim Prize 2009 for the monograph “Targeted Killing in International Law” (OUP, 2008) at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva (IHEID).
  • Member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, Italy
  • Official Website of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Torture/SRTorture/Pages/SRTortureIndex.aspx

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2006
Number of items: 21.

2018

Melzer, N. (2018) Seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: reaffirming and strengthening the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Melzer, N. (2018) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

2017

Melzer, N. (2017) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on his mission to Turkey. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Melzer, N. (2017) Extra-custodial use of force and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Project Report. United Nations General Assembly.

Melzer, N. (2017) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

2016

Melzer, N. (2016) International Humanitarian Law : A Comprehensive Introduction. International Committee of the Red Cross: Geneva. ISBN 9782940396467

2015

Melzer, N. (2015) Conceptual distinction and overlaps between law enforcement and the conduct of hostilities. In: Gill, T. D. and Fleck, D. (eds.) Handbook of the International Law of Military Operations. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198744627

Melzer, N. (2015) Targeted killings in operational law. In: Gill, T. D. and Fleck, D. (eds.) Handbook of the International Law of Military Operations. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198744627

Melzer, N. (2015) The principle of distinction between civilians and combatants. In: Clapham, A. and Gaeta, P. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780199559695

2013

Schmitt, M. N., , and , (Eds.) (2013) Tallin Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. Cambridge University Press.

Melzer, N. (2013) Human Rights Implications of the Usage of Drones and Unmanned Robots in Warfare. European Parliament. ISBN 9789282343906 (doi:10.2861/213)

2012

Gasser, H.-P. and Melzer, N. (2012) Humanitäres Völkerrecht: Eine Einführung. Schulthess Publishing House: Zurich. ISBN 9783725563586

Melzer, N. (2012) Bolstering the protection of civilians in armed conflict. In: Cassese, A. (ed.) Realizing Utopia : The Future of International Law. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780199647088

2011

Melzer, N. (2011) Cyberwarfare and International Law. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research: Geneva.

2010

Melzer, N. (2010) Civilian participation in armed conflict. In: Wolfrum, R. (ed.) Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law. Oxford University Press.

Melzer, N. (2010) The ICRC’s clarification process on the notion of direct participation in hostilities. In: The Right to Life. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: Leiden. ISBN 9789004189652

Melzer, N. (2010) Keeping the balance between military necessity and humanity – a response to four critiques of the ICRC’s interpretive guidance on the notion of direct participation in hostilities. New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, 42(3), pp. 831-916.

2009

Melzer, N. (2009) Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law. International Committee of the Red Cross: Geneva. ISBN 9782940396047

2008

Melzer, N. (2008) Interpretive guidance on the notion of direct participation in hostilities under international humanitarian law. International Review of the Red Cross, 90(872), pp. 991-1047. (doi:10.1017/S1816383109000319)

Melzer, N. (2008) Targeted Killing in International Law. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780199533169

2006

Melzer, N. (2006) Targeted killing or less harmful means? – Israel's high court judgment on targeted killing and the restrictive function of military necessity. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, 9, pp. 87-113. (doi:10.1017/S1389135906000870)

This list was generated on Thu Nov 15 20:35:35 2018 GMT.
Number of items: 21.

Articles

Melzer, N. (2010) Keeping the balance between military necessity and humanity – a response to four critiques of the ICRC’s interpretive guidance on the notion of direct participation in hostilities. New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, 42(3), pp. 831-916.

Melzer, N. (2008) Interpretive guidance on the notion of direct participation in hostilities under international humanitarian law. International Review of the Red Cross, 90(872), pp. 991-1047. (doi:10.1017/S1816383109000319)

Melzer, N. (2006) Targeted killing or less harmful means? – Israel's high court judgment on targeted killing and the restrictive function of military necessity. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, 9, pp. 87-113. (doi:10.1017/S1389135906000870)

Books

Melzer, N. (2016) International Humanitarian Law : A Comprehensive Introduction. International Committee of the Red Cross: Geneva. ISBN 9782940396467

Melzer, N. (2013) Human Rights Implications of the Usage of Drones and Unmanned Robots in Warfare. European Parliament. ISBN 9789282343906 (doi:10.2861/213)

Gasser, H.-P. and Melzer, N. (2012) Humanitäres Völkerrecht: Eine Einführung. Schulthess Publishing House: Zurich. ISBN 9783725563586

Melzer, N. (2011) Cyberwarfare and International Law. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research: Geneva.

Melzer, N. (2009) Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law. International Committee of the Red Cross: Geneva. ISBN 9782940396047

Melzer, N. (2008) Targeted Killing in International Law. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780199533169

Book Sections

Melzer, N. (2015) Conceptual distinction and overlaps between law enforcement and the conduct of hostilities. In: Gill, T. D. and Fleck, D. (eds.) Handbook of the International Law of Military Operations. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198744627

Melzer, N. (2015) Targeted killings in operational law. In: Gill, T. D. and Fleck, D. (eds.) Handbook of the International Law of Military Operations. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198744627

Melzer, N. (2015) The principle of distinction between civilians and combatants. In: Clapham, A. and Gaeta, P. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780199559695

Melzer, N. (2012) Bolstering the protection of civilians in armed conflict. In: Cassese, A. (ed.) Realizing Utopia : The Future of International Law. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780199647088

Melzer, N. (2010) Civilian participation in armed conflict. In: Wolfrum, R. (ed.) Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law. Oxford University Press.

Melzer, N. (2010) The ICRC’s clarification process on the notion of direct participation in hostilities. In: The Right to Life. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: Leiden. ISBN 9789004189652

Edited Books

Schmitt, M. N., , and , (Eds.) (2013) Tallin Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. Cambridge University Press.

Research Reports or Papers

Melzer, N. (2018) Seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: reaffirming and strengthening the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Melzer, N. (2018) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Melzer, N. (2017) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on his mission to Turkey. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Melzer, N. (2017) Extra-custodial use of force and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Project Report. United Nations General Assembly.

Melzer, N. (2017) Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Project Report. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

This list was generated on Thu Nov 15 20:35:35 2018 GMT.