GRC’s Positive Complementarity Centre contains the following five pillars of services:
Pillar 1: Law and policy reform
We advise on all aspects of a state’s legal measures related to war crimes and other international crimes.
In general, this includes advisory services to the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, ministries responsible for IHL implementation, Chief of Army staffs, etc., to promote compliance with prevailing IHL standards and an effective relationship with the International Criminal Court (ICC). More specifically, this could include the following services:
- Reviewing a state's legal infrastructure, as it relates to the regulation and enforcement of IHL;
- Drafting IHL reform bills to address legislative and regulatory gaps in the enforcement of IHL;
- Working with the state military and state security services to ensure that they have the correct regulations in place, such as military manuals related to IHL, field manuals, rules of engagement, etc.; and
- Working with state-based IHL commissions or other civilian bodies to assist with day-to-day policy work on IHL reform.
Recent examples of our work include the IHL reform bill in Ukraine that ensures conformity of Ukraine’s Criminal Code with the Rome Statute of the ICC. We are also working with members of Parliament to integrate IHL into parliamentary resolutions and legal bills relevant to the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine’s temporarily occupied territories.
Pillar 2: Implementation of IHL during conflict
Using field-tested, tailored curriculums and training programmes, we advise and train armed forces and other relevant actors to ensure compliance with IHL in preparation for, or during, an armed conflict. This includes the following activities:
- Providing IHL/Law of Armed Conflict training in the field and classroom for different categories of military personnel and employees of state armed forces (including the Air Force and the Navy);
- Supplementing and complementing IHL trainings in military units with international expertise;
- Providing the appropriate practical tools and operational strategies to ensure that the protection of civilians and civilian objects becomes a core consideration of military personnel during armed conflict.
For example, on behalf of the European Union Training Mission in Mali, we worked alongside 23 European states to train the Armed Forces of Mali to protect against IHL violations during the conflict in northern Mali. Our advisory responsibilities included advising the Mission Commander and Training Camp Commander on IHL.