Professor Dale Stephens presented with Red Cross Distinguished Service Award
At the recent South Australian Red Cross Annual General Meeting, Professor Dale Stephens was presented with the Red Cross Distinguished Service Award. This award is a national one that recognises distinguished service and the demonstration of exceptional leadership.
Professor Stephens has been the Chair of the South Australian International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Advisory Committee since 2012 and has been heavily involved in leading numerous Red Cross IHL activities and initiatives during that time.
International Humanitarian Law is the law that applies to ameliorate violence and provide humanitarian protections to those caught up in armed conflict. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the National Societies (such as the Australian Red Cross) that comprise the world-wide Red Cross movement are dedicated to providing legal and practical protections/assistance to victims of armed conflict. The South Australian IHL committee has been extremely active in initiating activities, workshops, public discussions, parliamentary submissions and directed research in this important area of the law. The award’s citation makes specific note of the partnership between Adelaide University Law School and the Red Cross that Professor Stephens has instigated in numerous activities, including national workshops dealing with the protection of cultural property, engagement with research on cyber warfare and jointly run public forums on examining the protection of journalists in armed conflict (with cooperation of journalists from ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper). There have been many Adelaide Law School students who have volunteered their time with the South Australian Red Cross to assist in researching and engaging with these issues. New areas of warfare in the cyber realm, through the employment of artificial intelligence in the battle space, armed conflict in space and the rising recognition of psychological warfare through manipulation of social media information all pose new challenges on the horizon that the SA IHL Committee is planning to deal with in the near future.