Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Francisco Lobo is a lawyer graduated from the University of Chile. He holds an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University (sponsored by the Fulbright Commission), and a Master of Laws specializing in International Law from the University of Chile. He is a lecturer of International Law, Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law, and Legal Theory, in Santiago of Chile.

He has worked as an NYU Fellow of International Law and Human Rights at the International Law Commission of the United Nations (2018), where he assisted the Special Rapporteur on Peremptory Norms of General International Law (ius cogens), in New York and Geneva. He has also worked as a legal advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Chile (2019-2020).

His research interests include International Law, Human Rights, the Law of Armed Conflict and the Just War tradition, and International Criminal Law, as well as a multidisciplinary approach to the phenomenon of violence from the perspective of history, philosophy and ethics.

He enjoys writing political opinions, as well as essays and works of fiction.


Research Interests

  • International Law
  • Human Rights
  • Law of Armed Conflict/Just War Tradition
  • International Criminal Law
  • Moral Philosophy



Military Honor and Human Dignity: Strengthening Compliance with International Humanitarian Law on the Battlefield

Today it is common to find references to human dignity in every type of normative discourse, from moral and political discussions, to legal instruments both domestic and international. Indeed, human dignity is the core value underpinning International Human Rights Law (IHRL). It is also a fundamental principle of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), a regime that is complemented by IHRL. Yet, is dignity really upheld in the heat of battle? Do the military have a professional duty to respect human rights and dignity?

Modern warfare is increasingly waged using the justificatory language of law, a phenomenon known as ‘lawfare’, reminiscent of the Just War tradition. Hence, warfare is a normative activity regulated by both moral and legal rules. Due to the patent absence of law enforcement institutions of IHL rules on the ground, this particular legal regime has to heavily rely on the phenomenon known as “self-application” of the law, that is, the spontaneous compliance with legal rules by those who are governed by them, in this case combatants. In this sense, the training of combatants in the core principles of IHL and IHRL as a matter of professional ethos, including the main value of human dignity, becomes of the utmost importance to ensure compliance with those regimes in times of war. Part of that training involves inculcating values such as courage, discipline, loyalty, and military honor, which lie at the core of the military professional ethos.

Therefore, the question that inspires this investigation is: Is there a relation between the notion of military honor, embodying a code of professional ethics for soldiers, and the concept of human dignity, the core value underlying IHL and IHRL? And, what are the normative implications for the training and exercise of the military profession in connection with the levels of compliance with IHL?


  • Dr. Maria Varaki (primary)
  • Professor David Whetham (secondary)



Articles and opinions:

  • The ‘capture or kill’ debate revisited: Putting the ‘human’ back in ‘human enhancement of soldiers’, in The Military Law and the Law of War Review, Vol. 58 No. 1, 2020, pp. 85-120.
  • The International Law on the Use of Force in light of new developments from the Americas (online:, 17 February 2020.
  • A conception of human dignity: The normative case against female genital mutilation, in The Journal of Human Dignity and Wellbeing, No. 7, 2019, pp. 80-98.
  • Chile and a global revolution for dignity (online:, 13 December 2019.
  • Abolishing Atomic Warfare? Nuclear Power and Natural-International Law in the Twenty-first Century, in Transnational Legal Theory (online:, 2019.
  • Military intervention in Venezuela: China matters (online:, 24 September 2018.
  • One Piece at a Time: The “Accumulation of Events” Doctrine and the “Bloody Nose” Debate on North Korea (online:, 16 March 2018.

Books and chapters:

  • The International Law on the Use of Force in the Americas: Understanding the dynamics of subjects and obligations (with Felipe R. Silvestre). In: Duarte, Maria Luisa; Lanceiro, Rui Tavares; and Duarte, Francisco de Abreu (Coord.). Ordem Jurídica Global do Século XXI. Lisbon, AAFDL Editora, 2020.
  • El Uso de Drones en el Derecho Penal Internacional de los Conflictos Armados (The Use of Drones under the International Criminal Law of Armed Conflict). Santiago, Librotecnia, 2019.
  • Teoría y Práctica de la Intervención Humanitaria en la Tradición de la Guerra Justa (Theory and Practice of Humanitarian Intervention in the Just War Tradition). Mexico D.F., Tirant lo Blanch, 2016.