Positive Complementarity Centre

Positive Complementarity Centre

Justice begins at home and States have the right and responsibility to implement their obligations under the Geneva Conventions and associated legal instruments. 

Positive complementarity encompasses a wide array of steps that States must take to ensure they are acting in compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL).

Through GRC's Positive Complementarity Centre, we deliver IHL reform by working with a range of government officials in parliament, the Ministry of Defence, armed forces, state security services, the Ministry of Justice and other state bodies.

We also provide services to non-state actors, including members of civil society, to engage with governments to promote IHL reform. These efforts strengthen the rule of law, enhance protection for civilians during armed conflicts, and capacity build local and national governments to ensure effective implementation of IHL.

<h4 style="text-align: justify;">GRC’s Positive Complementarity Centre contains the following five pillars of services: </h4>
<h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><u>Pillar 1: Law and policy reform</u></strong><strong>  </strong></h4>
<p>We advise on all aspects of a state’s legal measures related to war crimes and other international crimes.</p>
<p>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:</p>
<ul>
<li>Reviewing a state's legal infrastructure, as it relates to the regulation and enforcement of IHL;</li>
<li>Drafting IHL reform bills to address legislative and regulatory gaps in the enforcement of IHL;</li>
<li>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</li>
<li>Working with state-based IHL commissions or other civilian bodies to assist with day-to-day policy work on IHL reform.</li>
</ul>
<p style="text-align: justify;">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.</p>
<h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><u>Pillar 2: Implementation of IHL during conflict</u></strong></h4>
<p style="text-align: justify;">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:</p>
<ul>
<li style="text-align: justify;">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);</li>
<li style="text-align: justify;">Supplementing and complementing IHL trainings in military units with international expertise;</li>
<li>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.</li>
</ul>
<p style="text-align: justify;">For example, on behalf of the European Union Training Mission in Mali, we worked alongside 23 European states to train the <a href="/en/projects/scott-martin-of-grc-joins-eu-training-mission-in-mali-to-provide-advisory-and-training-services-on-international-humanitarian-law">Armed Forces of Mali</a> 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.</p>

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.

<h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><u>Pillar 3: Identification and investigation of IHL violations</u></strong></h4>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Using specially designed guides reflecting international best practices, we provide capacity building to government officials, including military, intelligence, police, and civil society to identify, document and investigate IHL violations. In general, this includes the following:</p>
<ul style="text-align: justify;">
<li>Reviewing the evidence of investigative entities and working with investigators to assess it in relation to each investigation;</li>
<li>Compiling and reviewing evidence for consideration by the local prosecuting entity including the drafting of a dossier for each case that merits consideration for prosecution as a war crime;</li>
<li>Drafting the following types of handbooks and manuals specifically tailored to the Government in question:
<ul>
<li>Handbook on Identifying, Documenting and Investigating the Crimes of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes;</li>
<li>War Crimes Jurisdictional Template;</li>
<li>War Crimes Investigation Template;</li>
<li>Witness Interview Template Checklist.</li>
</ul>
</li>
</ul>
<p style="text-align: justify;">For example, we provided advisory and training services on best practice in investigating IHL violations to the <a href="/en/news/grc-hosts-consultation-for-ukrainian-security-service-sbu-investigators">Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)</a> and the <a href="/en/projects/grc-to-provide-advisory-services-to-chief-military-prosecutors-office-of-ukraine">Chief Military Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine</a>, in particular, the Department on Investigation of Crimes against National Security of Ukraine, Peace, Security of Mankind and International Legal Order. </p>
<h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><u>Pillar 4: Prosecution and adjudication of IHL violations and international crimes</u></strong></h4>
<p style="text-align: justify;">We provide advisory services to assist domestic officials in prosecuting, defending and adjudicating IHL violations in furtherance of fundamental fair trial rights. These services include:</p>
<ul>
<li style="text-align: justify;">Developing the capacity of prosecuting authorities in implementing their responsibilities to prosecute IHL crimes;</li>
<li style="text-align: justify;">Developing the capacities of judiciaries to adjudicate on IHL crimes;</li>
<li>Developing the capacity building to defend against allegations of IHL crimes.</li>
</ul>
<p style="text-align: justify;">For example, we recently collaborated with the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Military Prosecutor’s Office for the Government of Ukraine on the prosecution of international crimes. We assisted in preparing Ukraine’s submissions to the ICC concerning suspected crimes committed during the Euromaidan protests and in the armed conflict in occupied eastern Ukraine.</p>

Pillar 3: Identification and investigation of IHL violations

Using specially designed guides reflecting international best practices, we provide capacity building to government officials, including military, intelligence, police, and civil society to identify, document and investigate IHL violations. In general, this includes the following:

  • Reviewing the evidence of investigative entities and working with investigators to assess it in relation to each investigation;
  • Compiling and reviewing evidence for consideration by the local prosecuting entity including the drafting of a dossier for each case that merits consideration for prosecution as a war crime;
  • Drafting the following types of handbooks and manuals specifically tailored to the Government in question:
    • Handbook on Identifying, Documenting and Investigating the Crimes of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes;
    • War Crimes Jurisdictional Template;
    • War Crimes Investigation Template;
    • Witness Interview Template Checklist.

For example, we provided advisory and training services on best practice in investigating IHL violations to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine, in particular, the Department on Investigation of Crimes against National Security of Ukraine, Peace, Security of Mankind and International Legal Order. 

Pillar 4: Prosecution and adjudication of IHL violations and international crimes

We provide advisory services to assist domestic officials in prosecuting, defending and adjudicating IHL violations in furtherance of fundamental fair trial rights. These services include:

  • Developing the capacity of prosecuting authorities in implementing their responsibilities to prosecute IHL crimes;
  • Developing the capacities of judiciaries to adjudicate on IHL crimes;
  • Developing the capacity building to defend against allegations of IHL crimes.

For example, we recently collaborated with the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Military Prosecutor’s Office for the Government of Ukraine on the prosecution of international crimes. We assisted in preparing Ukraine’s submissions to the ICC concerning suspected crimes committed during the Euromaidan protests and in the armed conflict in occupied eastern Ukraine.

<h4 style="text-align: justify;"><strong><u>Pillar 5: Dissemination of IHL principles</u></strong></h4>
<p style="text-align: justify;">We work diligently to promote and disseminate IHL principles to an audience of ministry officials, members of parliament, civil society, universities and the general public.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">This includes conducting extensive outreach on topical IHL issues, such as regular engagement with the media. We regularly publish IHL newsletters to governments, international organisations and civil society, as well as the general public through social media.</p>

Pillar 5: Dissemination of IHL principles

We work diligently to promote and disseminate IHL principles to an audience of ministry officials, members of parliament, civil society, universities and the general public.

This includes conducting extensive outreach on topical IHL issues, such as regular engagement with the media. We regularly publish IHL newsletters to governments, international organisations and civil society, as well as the general public through social media.

Terms of use

We value your privacy almost as much as you do. Here we explain our online information practices, so that you know how your information is collected and used. This statement is available at the bottom of each page of our website.

The Information We Collect

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the Global Rights Compliance website.

The Way We Use Information

We use the information you provide to contact you about your project or to send you our newsletter. We do not share this information with outside parties. We use return email addresses to answer the email we receive from you and for our company newsletter. Such addresses are not shared with outside parties.

Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways that are unrelated to the ones listed above without also providing you the opportunity to opt out or otherwise stop such unrelated uses.

Our Commitment To Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. Our efforts to secure this data are ongoing.

Our Commitment To Children’s Privacy

Children’s privacy is especially important. That’s why we never collect or maintain information at our website from those we actually know are under 13, and our website is not structured to attract anyone under 13.

Privacy policy

We value your privacy almost as much as you do. Here we explain our online information practices, so that you know how your information is collected and used. This statement is available at the bottom of each page of our website.

The Information We Collect

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the Global Rights Compliance website.

The Way We Use Information

We use the information you provide to contact you about your project or to send you our newsletter. We do not share this information with outside parties. We use return email addresses to answer the email we receive from you and for our company newsletter. Such addresses are not shared with outside parties.

Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways that are unrelated to the ones listed above without also providing you the opportunity to opt out or otherwise stop such unrelated uses.

Our Commitment To Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. Our efforts to secure this data are ongoing.

Our Commitment To Children’s Privacy

Children’s privacy is especially important. That’s why we never collect or maintain information at our website from those we actually know are under 13, and our website is not structured to attract anyone under 13.