"Protecting civilians: Oxford and Oxfam working together on the ethics of war, weapons and humanitarian aid" - Oxford at Saïd Seminar

Past Event

07 December 2012, 7:30pm - 9:00pm

Said Business School
Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HP

The Oxford at Saïd seminar series is a joint venture between the Oxford Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the University's Research Services Department

Summary: The protection of civilians in war is a major focus of study for the Oxford Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, (ELAC) an Oxford Martin School Institute. Oxfam’s exceptional global expertise in humanitarian aid and arms control makes it a unique operational partner for Oxford in an important area of applied ethical research that could have life-saving implications for many thousands of civilians in future armed conflicts.

The new International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN principle of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) seem to have sealed civilian protection as a new international norm. Impartial humanitarian aid to civilians and legal restraint on indiscriminate weapons (like landmines and cluster bombs) is a major part of this new norm. But positive political rhetoric and new international law is only ever a first step in international relations. The actual practice of protecting unarmed men, women and children amidst the fierce violence of international and non-international war contends with extreme political realities and rapidly developing robotic weapons technology like drones. Because of this, ELAC is working with Oxfam and a wider network of twelve of the world’s leading humanitarian and human rights agencies to understand and resolve the moral challenges in delivering humanitarian aid and limiting the risks of robotic weapons.


  • Dr Hugo Slim, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and armed Conflict
  • Jane Cocking, Humanitarian Director, Oxfam GB
  • Dr Alexander Leveringhaus, James Martin Fellow, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and armed Conflict

This seminar features three speakers and a Q&A session, followed by a drinks reception.

Attendance at Oxford at Said Seminars is free of charge. Please register online at: http://sbs.force.com/entrepreneurship/apex/Event?id=a0UC0000008AQNd