The Legal and Ethical Responsibilities of Providing Security Force Assistance

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Friday, 11 September 2020 11:00-12:30
Place: Red Cross Conference

PRIO invites you to a physical seminar on 11 September from 11:00 to 12:30. The topic is the
legal and ethical responsibilities of states such as Norway that provide security force
assistance to other armed forces, and the challenges involved in meeting those
Globally, the provision of military training and equipment via security assistance
programmes is worth billions of dollars each year and is often motivated by a desire to
address security challenges such as violent extremism, migration, and organized crime.
There are however risks involved in assisting the development of another state’s coercive
power, especially if its security forces are fighting in a conflict. Some states that provide
security assistance attempt to assess the risks that its training or equipment could be used
by units involved in war crimes or human rights violations.

These issues are further discussed in the PRIO policy brief: Exporting Coercive Power:
Regulations and Best Practices for Security Force Assistance which can be downloaded from:

Tora Fæste currently works at the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (Forsvarsmateriell).
She has previously served in the Norwegian Army as a Major and legal adviser, and has
worked as a diplomat in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Captain Espen Høilund is serving as a company commander in Telemark Battalion in the
Norwegian Army. He has been directly involved in the provision of security force assistance,
and has been deployed to Afghanistan four times and to Iraq once.

Nicholas Marsh is a Senior Researcher at PRIO where he works on security assistance, the
arms trade, armed conflict and arms control. He has led a European research network on
armed violence and has been a consultant to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and to the
Small Arms Survey.

Simon O’Connor is a military consultant with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights (OHCHR) and research associate at the Institute for Ethics Law and Armed
Conflict at the University of Oxford. He has previously served as a legal officer in the British
Army, and as senior legal adviser in the Norwegian Red Cross.

Chair: Øystein H. Rolandsen, Senior Researcher and leader of PRIO’s SFA research

Due to Covid-19 regulations, all people who attend must have registered in advance, and will
be contacted shortly before the seminar.

The event is part of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence project: Lessons Learned from
Military Capacity Building and Implications for future Norwegian Engagement in the Sahel