Seminar on Human Rights and International Law

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Lyon, U.S. Africa Command Office of Legal Counsel wrote


I recently returned from Abuja, Nigeria, where I had the privilege of helping present an executive-level seminar on Human Rights and International Law to senior members of the Nigerian Armed Forces. This seminar was jointly conducted by the U.S. Africa Command Office of Legal Counsel and the Defense Institute for International Legal Studies (DIILS). The purpose of the seminar was to provide participants a U.S. view of the relevant legal standards in international agreements and customary international law, provide examples of domestic human rights and humanitarian law, and promote respect for civilian authority. The legal team and attendees discussed topics such as Respect for Civilian Control of the Military, the Legal Aspects of Combating Terrorism, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.


Throughout the conference, the instructors and attendees engaged in open and frank discussion about legal issues of common interest to Nigeria and the United States and shared lessons learned. The seminar attendees were articulate and well-educated, professional, and very receptive to the topics presented. Not only did I enjoy the interaction during our presentations, but also the less formal conversations during breaks and lunch when we discussed more broad ranging topics such as recent U.S. elections, the economy, terrorism and soccer. An overall positive experience from both sides and acknowledgment that future similar training and engagement opportunities would be most appreciated.”


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1 Response to “Seminar on Human Rights and International Law”

  1. 1 James Szeredy December 13, 2010 at 1:47 am

    It is great to hear about successful engagements which support Building Partner Capacity. One of the key foundations of nations today is the backbone of law.

    The legal environment is a critical mission area in today’s dealings with terrorism and insurgencies. It is always a great educational and learning event when you can learn about another nations legal code. Engagements of this nature enables U.S. military members to better understand how other nations will react to internal and external threats. In your discussions on terrorism, did you see similarities between the U.S. and Nigeria on dealing with terrorism and/or insurgents from a legal stand-point?

    Thank you for providing your insight to this event.

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