Recent studies hint at an increased incidence of calamitous events due to both natural phenomena and dangerous human activities. At times these two factors come together generating catastrophes capable of causing immense human and material losses and irreversible harm to the environment.

Having to cope with exceptionally serious events, the affected States have often sought help from the international community which assisted the populations concerned by organizing relief activities. In doing so, the actors involved were however often confronted with an international legal framework which is fragmented and deficient to the point of compromising the effectiveness of assistance action.

Disaster prevention and mitigation activities are also subject to international regulation which appears rather unsatisfactory to date. The few existing legal instruments apply only to certain disasters or have only regional scope or have no binding legal effect.

The present research project intends to contribute to the resolution of the problems set out by trying to identify the current legal framework with respect to the prevention and the management of natural and man-made disasters, thus assisting in the establishment of what is becoming known as International Disaster Response Law (IDRL). The project’s general goal is to render more effective international mechanism aimed at disaster prevention and management in the belief that a more thorough legal regulation might help reducing the destructive potential of these phenomena and their human and material costs.

The project will be conducted by four research Units:

International Telematic University Uninettuno – National Coordinator: Flavia Zorzi Giustiniani

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – Coordinator: Emanuele Sommario

University of Roma Tre – Coordinator: Giulio Bartolini

University of Bologna – Coordinator: Federico Casolari