'Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens) and the Prohibition of Terrorism' wins international prize

Posted on March 09, 2020


The Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria is proud to announce that UP Faculty of Law alumna Aniel Caro de Beer's book on 'Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens) and the Prohibition of Terrorism' has been selected as the winner of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) Francis Lieber Prize for best book in the law of armed conflict. The book is based on De Beer’s doctoral thesis completed in 2018 and prepared under supervision of Professor Dire Tladi in the Department of Public Law and the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, and a member of the International Law Commission.

In the words of Professor Laurie Blank, Director of the Centre for International and Comparative Law and Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory Law School, “Dear Aniel ... [I]t is my great pleasure to inform you that your book has been selected as the winner of the Lieber Prize for best book in the law of armed conflict. Congratulations! The Prize Committee really enjoyed and was very impressed with your book.”

In reaction to receiving this prestigious prize, De Beer responded as follows:

“It is a great honour to receive this award. I am especially pleased that a topic which lies close to my heart, namely the recognition of the importance of jus cogens norms, the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism and the interaction between the prohibition of terrorism and other norms of jus cogens was of interest to the ASIL.

Professor Tladi was an excellent and inspiring supervisor, and is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Peremptory Norms of General International Law (Jus Cogens). While recognising the concern for the human condition that informs jus cogens norms and relevant normative arguments, he was always careful to ensure that my thesis made a doctrinal argument and adopts a rigorous approach to the subject matter, informed by a solid basis and detailed analysis grounded in the sources of international law. While he gave me outstanding guidance and support, he at the same time respected and gave me the freedom to pursue my own ideas, which ultimately led to an exploration of the interaction between jus cogens norms and the prohibition of terrorism, and the book.”

De Beer is currently a research associate at the South African Research Chair in International Law, Professor Hennie Strydom, at the University of Johannesburg.  "I am passionate about international law, research and in particular, teaching, and I am working towards a more permanent footing in academia. I am also working on my international profile by publishing articles internationally, in particular on the areas of terrorism, the use of force (including the use of force in response to cyberterrorism), international air, space and telecommunications law and international criminal law."

De Beer concluded that she "would like to thank Professor Tladi again for involving her in the work of the International Law Commission on Jus Cogens, including attendance of a meeting in Geneva, and the University of Pretoria for providing such excellent postgraduate education during both my master's degree in International Air, Space and Telecommunications Law and my doctorate.”  

The Lieber Society serves as ASIL's focal point for the study and dissemination of the law of armed conflict, or international humanitarian law, and other public international law related to the conduct of military operations. The Lieber Society facilitates dialogue by bringing together academics and governmental and non-governmental practitioners, civilian and military, from the United States and throughout the world, by sponsoring panels at the ASIL Annual Meetings, publishing a quarterly newsletter, co-sponsoring symposia, and by the informal sharing and critiquing of ideas, research and papers.

The ASIL also sponsors annual awards, such as the Francis Lieber Prize, presented to the author of an exceptional book and the author of an article in the field, and the Richard Baxter Military Prize for exceptional writing that enhances understanding of the law of war by a person serving in the regular or reserve armed forces of any nation. Through these efforts the Lieber Society strives to promote understanding of, respect for, and compliance with international law.*

Hearty congratulations to Aniel for an excellent book!


Link to the book.

*Source: Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict

- Author Elzet Hurter
Published by Elzet Hurter

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