Rebel Governance and Legal Identity

The Centre for Global Challenges hosted a workshop on Rebel Governance and Legal Identity that took place on 13 and 14 July at Utrecht University. Co-funded by Melbourne University’s Statelessness Hallmark Initiative, the workshop brought together academics from different disciplines and practitioners to explore the notion of legal identity in territory under the control of armed non State actors.

Presentations focused on the LTTE (Sri Lanka), Karin Independence Army (Myanmar), the Islamic State (Iraq), Palestinian Liberation Organisation (Lebanon), Syrian Interim Government (Syria) and Donbass (Ukraine). Discussions centred on the different ways in which individuals living in territories outside the control of the State secure documentation registering and recording life events such as birth, marriage and death.

There was a rich dialogue between the participants on issues such as the legal framework relating to citizenship and legal identity, the issue of alternative documentation issued by armed groups and the challenges faced by humanitarian organisations working on the issue of civil status documentation. The workshop was held under Chatham House Rules.