June 13, 2018

Uglješa Grušić: War and Civic Law: Wars in Former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan in comparative civic law

The first thought on legal regulation of war and, in general, the use of force in international relations is international public law, specifically, international law of war, international humanitarian law and human rights law. However, in the last ten years a new phenomena has emerged – the use of civic and lawsuits, based on private law of criminal responsibility, by way of which victims of the supposed illegal war activities try to demand responsibility of the state which used such a force in the first place. Such lawsuits have been of interest in courts in the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Italy, Canada, Germany and Holland concerning war activities that these states used in former Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan in “war against terror”. In my lecture, I will underscore the significance as well as constraints of civic law as a frame of legal regulation of war and use of force in international relations. A broader theoretical contribution of this topic reveals a field in which private right of criminal responsibility performs crucial public and legal functions: regulation of sovereign acts in international space.


Uglješa Grušić is a lecturer/associate professor at the University College London Faculty of Laws. He graduated at the Law School in Belgrade, got his master’s degree at the University of Nottingham and PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Aside from teaching at the UCL, he has lectured at the University of Belgrade and University of Nottingham.

He was also a visiting research student at the Sciences Po in Paris, School of Law of Deakin University, Australia, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany, and King’s College London Transnational Law Summer Institute.

His researcher focuses on European international private law and relation between international private law and human rights, specifically, in the field of private and legal responsibility of state for the supposed extraterritorial violations of human rights. Other scope of research interest includes European private international law in the field of legal employment, the relation between substantive EU law and European private international law, and the relationship between domestic courts and international arbitration. He has published in leading academic journals (Modern Law Review, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Yearbook of European Law…). For his book European International Private Law of Employment (Cambridge University Press, 2015) he received a 2015 PILIG award from the American Society of International Law. For his article “”Jurisdiction in Employment Matters under Brussels I: A Reassessment” he received a ICQL Young Scholar Prize for young scientists.

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