CIL-ILA Seminar on The Use of Force Against Foreign Terrorist Fighters

An event jointly organised by

The issue of foreign terrorist fighters acting in armed conflict has attracted a significant amount of attention in recent years. This is aptly illustrated by events in Syria where as many as 13,000 foreign fighters may have mobilised to fight. The rate of entry into Syria is also unprecedented, and more foreign fighters have probably been active at the same time in Syria than in any other armed conflict. Moreover, the breadth of geographic origin of the foreign terrorist fighters is also unprecedented with individuals from at least 81 countries being active in Syria during the conflict.

The involvement of foreign fighters in an armed conflict abroad raises a number of international legal issues, and this talk will briefly address the following in turn:
(1) status of foreign terrorist fighters in armed conflict;
(2) relationship between terrorism and armed conflict;
(3) UN response; and
(4) response by state of nationality/residence including the use of lethal force.


Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP
9 Battery Road, #25-01
Singapore 049910

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Cdr Ian Park is a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford from which he has a doctorate in law. He is also, or has been, a Hudson Fellow at Oxford University, a First Sea Lord’s Fellow, a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School, and a Freeman of the City of London. Ian’s monograph The Right to Life in Armed Conflict was published by Oxford University Press in 2018.

As a legal adviser, Ian has deployed on several occasions to the Middle East and, in 2011 and 2012, to Afghanistan, where he was a senior legal adviser at the ISAF Joint Command in Kabul. Additionally, he has advised the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence on matters of international law in respect of numerous other military operations. At present, he is the Royal Navy’s senior international lawyer providing advice on, inter alia, international humanitarian law, the law of the sea, international human rights law, and military law.

In addition to his military duties, Ian lectures extensively on matters of international law both in the UK, and overseas, to academic, military and government audiences as well as teaching graduate students on Oxford University’s BCL course. Ian is also the UK’s representative on a multinational project to draft a manual on the international law applicable to the military uses of outer space – the ‘Woomera Manual’. He has lectured at, amongst other institutions, Harvard Law School, Oxford University, Hanoi University, The University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hanoi, Freiburg University, the Academy of Military Science in Beijing, and Shanghai Jiao Tung University.


Danielle provides legal and strategic advice to the Singapore Government including on international trade and investment, law of the sea, environment, human rights issues and represents Singapore in international negotiations. Danielle was the lead counsel for Singapore in the TPP negotiations and was formerly the lead negotiator on intellectual property issues in EU-Singapore and TPP negotiations. Danielle was an advisor to the Singapore Government before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in the Case concerning Land Reclamation by Singapore in and around the Straits of Johor (Malaysia v
Singapore) Provisional Measures (2005).

She was formerly the Deputy Chief Executive/Deputy Director-General of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) where she was responsible for overseeing the administration of the intellectual property systems and legal framework in Singapore, as well as IPOS’ domestic and international strategic and policy directions. She was Chair of the General Assembly of Parties of the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (2009-2010) at the WIPO and was also appointed as a WIPO expert on mission. Her previous roles include that of criminal prosecutor, District Judge and law clerk to the Chief Justice of Singapore. She was Singapore’s delegate at the 70th UNGA including on the 6th Committee, and consultations on the resolution on oceans, law of the sea and sustainable fisheries. Danielle led the legal team in Singapore’s Third Party intervention in WTO DS512 Russia – Measures Concerning Traffic in Transit.


Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP is a leading full-service law firm in Singapore and one of the largest in South East Asia. It is a member firm of Rajah & Tann Asia, a network of over 600 lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam. Its geographical reach includes Singapore-based regional desks focusing on Japan and South Asia. Further, as the Singapore member firm of the Lex Mundi Network, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP offers its clients access to excellent legal support in more than 100 countries globally.