Tuesday, July 4, 2017
haim abraham

SJD candidate Haim Abraham was recently awarded a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS), valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies. The Vanier CGS was established to help attract outstanding doctoral students to Canadian institutions, and is based on academic excellence, research potential and leadership.  

Abraham’s thesis title is: “Should States Be Liable for Injuring Civilians During War? Rethinking Post-Conflict Legal Obligations of States.”

In his abstract, Abraham explains:  “My research examines whether states can and should be held liable for the wrongful losses they inflict on civilians during war. I approach this question by assessing prominent theoretical accounts of tort liability and moral obligations of states relating to war. I also compare legislation and case law in Canada, Israel and U.S. that exempt them from liability,
to establish the scope and nature of states’ immunity in practice. By understanding whether, when, and why an exception to liability is warranted, I will be able to locate shortcomings and advantages of the liability regime, and accordingly suggest ways to reform it and enhance the protection of civilians’ rights in times of conflict. In this way, my research will significantly contribute to the theoretical foundations of state liability during war, offer important insights as to how moral obligations influence the law, and enrich the academic debate regarding the justification, nature, and extent of exceptions to liability. It will also suggest real-world possibilities to Canadian and other national policy-makers, by presenting workable models of legal and extra-legal mechanisms of compensation to civilians who suffered losses in time of conflict. Even during war, states have obligations and individuals have rights. My research will account for these obligations and rights, so that we can shape an optimal state liability regime in Canada and globally.”

SJD candidate Eden Sarid received the award last year.