International Humanitarian Law And The Law Of Armed Conflict Pdf

international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict pdf

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Program on International Law and Armed Conflict

This article questions the conventional histories of international humanitarian law, which view international humanitarian law as the heir to a long continuum of codes of warfare. It demonstrates instead that the term international humanitarian law first appeared in the s, as the product of work done by various actors pursuing different ends.

The new idea of an international humanitarian law was codified in the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. Nevertheless, many of the provisions of the Protocols remained vague and contested, and their status, together with the humanitarian vision of the law they outlined, was uncertain for some time. It was only at the end of the 20th century that international lawyers, following the lead of human rights organizations, declared Additional Protocol I to be authoritative and the law of war to be truly humanitarian.

As such, this article concludes that international humanitarian law is not simply an ahistorical code, managed by states and promoted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Rather, it is a relatively new and historically contingent field that has been created, shaped and dramatically reinterpreted by a variety of actors, both traditional and unconventional.

International humanitarian law, as the ius in bello is currently described, is imbued with a particular sense of its history. Sometimes, international lawyers locate international humanitarian law in a long history of codes of warfare that straddle different times and cultures.

At other points, international lawyers might emphasize the contribution of Henry Dunant, who witnessed the Battle of Solferino and was inspired to create the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC and instigate the tradition of the Geneva Conventions. In this article, I will relate a different — a shorter — history of international humanitarian law.

I will describe how the term was created, then fought for and, finally, won in the s through the propitious convergence of a range of different actors and interests. The new name represented, as its adherents fully understood, not just a shift in terminology but also a fresh approach to the ius in bello.

It indicated a new field of law — an enlarged humanitarian law — endowed with an appropriate array of humanitarian principles. The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions were the repository of these principles; they held the outline of the new field. It was only at the very end of the 20th century that practitioners of international humanitarian law, following the example set by human rights organizations, suddenly accepted the authority of Additional Protocol I and, with it, a humanitarian vision of the ius in bello.

The history that follows, of how this change in the language and understanding of the ius in bello came about, shows that it was a contested and contingent process. Moreover, it reveals that the contest for international humanitarian law was played out by a diffuse cast of actors, which included both the conventional contributors to international law and other less traditional, less acknowledged, participants.

As such, this history provides an explanation of how one important aspect of the paradigm shift from sovereignty to humanitarianism in international affairs — a shift that has been observed by several scholars 4 — was accomplished.

The ICRC, which is considered to have a special relationship with international humanitarian law as its guardian and promoter, 5 describes it in the following manner:. International humanitarian law is part of the body of international law that governs relations between states.

It aims to protect persons who are not or are no longer taking part in hostilities, the sick and wounded, prisoners and civilians, and to define the rights and obligations of the parties to a conflict in the conduct of hostilities. International lawyers tend to attribute a long history to this current understanding of international humanitarian law.

In their descriptions of international humanitarian law, whether their focus is on historical issues or contemporary concerns, they will often refer to an accepted narrative of international humanitarian law, which assumes its longevity and agrees on its important milestones.

There are two common ways that international lawyers think about the history of international humanitarian law. One is the story of the humanization of war and law; the second is a story of imperialism and oppression. The orthodox history of international humanitarian law tells the following story.

Laws of war have always existed to limit the destruction of war. Other cultures, such as China, Japan, India and the Islamic world, have their own traditions of rules of warfare. It was not until the 19th century that a movement to codify the laws of war began and modern international humanitarian law was born. International lawyers refer to the Lieber Code, written to govern the conduct of Union forces during the American Civil War, as the first example of the codification of the laws of war, 17 but they regard the Battle of Solferino in as the crucial moment in the history of modern humanitarian law.

The orthodox history goes on to list the following inventory of humanitarian instruments: the Hague Convention, 22 the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols. This orthodox narrative tends to conflate a long history of varied approaches to the laws of war with modern international humanitarian law. In this way, the orthodox narrative is able to juxtapose the image of a long tradition of humanitarian law with the achievements of the modern age.

The result is that the values of international humanitarian law appear universal and ahistorical, while their modern codification is laudable. There is another story about international humanitarian law, which describes it not as a history of compassion and civilization but, rather, as a history of oppression and imperialism. Drawing on post-colonial and critical methodologies, lawyers describe a history in which military or Western needs have consistently trumped humane values, exposing civilians to the violence of war and legitimizing their suffering.

The Declaration of Saint Petersburg was a pointless failure. Both this negative account, and the more common orthodox history it reacts to, place the contemporary understanding of international humanitarian law in a long continuum with other codes of warfare. They extend international humanitarian law into the past. They elide its specificity and conceal its creation by placing it in a continuum with other codes of warfare. By deploying or relying on these histories, lawyers can suggest the longevity of international humanitarian law and bolster any claim they might wish to make about the law.

For example, supporters of international humanitarian law will find it easier to claim that a principle of international humanitarian law is well established, unarguable or obvious if it is considered part of a long tradition.

An established history also makes claims to the moral validity, authority and status of the field itself harder to refute. Alternatively, for those who wish to attack or change international humanitarian law, placing it in a long history makes it easier to draw connections with a tradition of oppression. In this way, histories of international humanitarian law not only reflect but also help to shape the current understanding of the field.

Rather, it was an appropriate title for a different concept of law and different rules. Other commentators corroborated this understanding of the rules of war. As Spaight stated in The principle results from a compromise of humanitarian and military interests, the latter — for war is war — being the more powerful interest of the two. There were also a few rules that formed a real compromise between civilization and military necessity, such as rules preventing poisoned weapons.

Rather, they existed to cover up the inability or unwillingness to achieve this objective. Thus, for the first part of the 20th century, legal commentators perceived the humanitarian principles of the rules of war as one thread, and often a weaker thread, of the law of war. After the second Hague Peace Conference in , commentators listed the important developments in the limitation of war as the Declaration of Paris, the Declaration of St Petersburg, which prohibited certain weapons, the and Geneva Conventions, dealing with wounded and sick soldiers, and the and Hague Conventions.

The Hague Peace Conferences had originally promised a more comprehensive attempt at the prevention or humanization of war, 43 but their outcome was also limited. Even an advocate such as James Brown Scott apologized for the results:. The result of a conference, therefore, is often strangely at variance with its program. The sweeping reforms of the enthusiast are brushed aside, and in their place tentative measures, timid measures perhaps, appear; but we must not forget that a step in advance is still a step in advance, and that the failure of today is the success of the morrow.

The Hague Regulations, as they were described, were only an annex to a convention, and, as such, they did not have the same effect as an international convention. The Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials confirmed the status of the Hague Regulations as customary law, 53 but by this point international lawyers had considered their provisions on the conduct of warfare to be outdated and not particularly useful for modern conditions and weaponry, such as aircraft.

Jean Pictet, director general of the ICRC Directorate, argued that since the Geneva Conventions had updated the law on prisoners of war and civilian populations, these subjects should also now be understood to belong to the Geneva — humanitarian — part of the law. Thus, while earlier texts had described the Hague Regulations and Geneva Conventions as part of a body of law that balanced humanitarian and military concerns, 60 legal writers now severed these principles, leaving the realm of military interests and military necessity to the Hague and bequeathing all of the humanitarian principles of the laws of war to Geneva 61 and the administration of the ICRC.

These humanitarian rules still made no claim to constitute the whole of the law. Indeed, they appeared even more circumscribed now that they were confined to the subject matter of the Geneva Conventions, enumerated in the titles of the conventions.

As such, it was clear that the ius in bello continued to contain both humanitarian values and a strong appreciation of military considerations — they were just divided into separate traditions, instead of existing intertwined through all of the rules of warfare. This severance meant that the Hague and Geneva division, now described as artificial, was, during this period, relevant and real. It had clear implications for the development and ownership of the law.

In the s, Kunz argues, the ICRC ran afoul of this distinction, as it tried to draft a new code for the protection of the civilian population.

He published an article The Development of International Humanitarian Law in , 67 a short study in , entitled Principles of International Humanitarian Law , 68 and an expanded and clarified work Humanitarian Law and the Protection of War Victims. It was just an expression to describe a part of the laws of war, conjoined with human rights law.

It began in the late s and was completed in with the assembly of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts. MacBride had a long-standing interest in prisoners, human rights abuses and the depredations of armed conflict that can be attributed to his own experiences, and that of his family, during the Irish rebellions against the British.

In January , he chaired a NGO Human Rights Conference, which concluded, in the following terms, that it was essential that the humanitarian principles of the Geneva Conventions protecting human rights prevail in all conflicts and that a new convention regarding modern weapons replace the outdated provisions of the Hague Conventions.

The Conference was held to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights; its aim was to improve the implementation of human rights. As MacBride explains:. I prepared a draft resolution which ultimately, with some minor amendments, was proposed by India and co-sponsored by Czechoslovakia, Jamaica, Uganda and the United Arab Republic.

My task was greatly facilitated by reason of the fact that the leaders of the Indian, Czechoslovak, Jamaican and UAR government delegations were old friends of mine. He explained:. In the period between and we witness in the organs of the UN a mounting endeavour to effect a fusion of the humanitarian law of war with human rights, which is not the outcome of accident. The junction of human rights and the humanitarian law of war was timeous and profitable to the majority of states in the UN, i.

Arab states in their perennial confrontation with Israel, the states supporting the disintegration of vestigial colonialism, and a large group of states supporting the racial confrontations in southern Africa and elsewhere.

The Western states seem to have been slow to appreciate that humanitarian law-making might afford a useful opportunity to offset military reverses, and that human rights could be impressed for that purpose. With this impetus, Resolution XXIII on Respect for Human Rights in Armed Conflicts was passed by the UN General Assembly on 19 December , similarly talking of applying humanitarian principles in all armed conflicts and asking the Secretary-General to look into the need for additional humanitarian international conventions.

At the 25th session, the Secretary-General produced a more definitive report. Four resolutions on the subject were passed at the 25th session. Resolution XXV said that extra instruments were needed to provide for the protection of the civilian population and freedom fighters against colonial and foreign domination as well as against racist regimes.

Resolution XXV stated that fundamental human rights would still apply in armed conflicts and that civilians should not be the object of military operations or reprisals. They either spoke of human rights, continuing the refrain from Teheran that human rights had to be protected in armed conflict, or they discussed humanitarian conventions or humanitarian rules as a part of the laws of armed conflict.

As such, the emphasis of the UN General Assembly was very much focused on promoting the specific issue of human rights in armed conflict, an issue that suited the varying ends of the states involved. The UN Secretary-General and the ICRC both emphasized the collaboration between the two institutions 92 — presumably to bolster the claims of each to the material at issue.

After having felt disregarded since the failure of the Draft Rules, the ICRC eagerly seized on the opportunity created by Teheran to fulfil its mission. It would be, the ICRC recognized, a sizeable and important task. The ICRC would, as it said, no longer be limited to its traditional role, concerned with those hors de combat. The subject matter of this report, of course, was far from new for the Red Cross. International humanitarian law would mean those rules of the law of armed conflict that are clearly humanitarian in nature, namely those that protect human beings and their essential property.

It was concerned with dispelling any confusion this abbreviation might create. It was not, the report stated, in that broad sense that the ICRC was now using it. This replacement was completed so quickly and thoroughly that the term international humanitarian law was used extensively during the Diplomatic Conference — and not as though it were an innovation but, rather, as an established term with a long history. The acting president, Pierre Graber, was able to introduce the Conference saying:.

War, weapons & victims : legal responses: IHL

This site includes links to all of our research guides, contact information for the research librarians phone, text, email, chat , and a schedule of our training classes. It provides definitions, quick links to web resources and articles, and references to books that provide more in-depth discussions of the topics. International Humanitarian Law IHL creates legal restrictions on waging warfare for the purpose of protecting non-participants. It is comprised of international treaties and customary law. In scholarly literature, Jus ad Bellum and Jus in Bello are often discussed together. Sometimes these are discussed in combination with a third principle, Jus Post Bellum , which encompasses post-conflict legal norms.

International humanitarian law comprises a set of rules, established by treaty or custom, applicable in situations of armed conflict. As noted, it is inspired by considerations of humanity and the mitigation of human suffering. Although the origins of IHL can be traced to at least the nineteenth century, the principles and practices on which it is based are much older. International humanitarian law, also referred to as the law of armed conflict or the law of war, is designed to balance humanitarian concerns and military necessity. It subjects warfare to the rule of law by limiting its destructive effect and mitigating human suffering. IHL covers two key areas:.


Today we begin a series of lectures on the law of armed conflict, which is also known as the law of war, international humanitarian law, or simply IHL. To begin​.


Overview of international humanitarian law

This does not mean that civilians cannot be legally harmed or killed under the law only that civilians and civilian property should not be the object or the purpose of the attack. The key here is the word incidental, meaning outside of the military target. This means that when considering a target the damage to civilians and their property cannot be excessive in relation to the military advantage gained. Proportionality is not a requirement if the target is purely military.

The aim of all these reports is to provide an overview of some of the challenges posed by contemporary armed conflicts for IHL; generate broader reflection on those challenges; and outline current or prospective ICRC action, positions, and areas of interest. Like its predecessors, this report addresses only some of the contemporary challenges to IHL. It outlines a number of issues that are the focus of increased interest among States and other actors, as well as the ICRC: the urbanization of armed conflicts; new technologies of warfare; the needs of civilians in conflicts that are, increasingly, protracted; non-State armed groups; terrorism and counterterrorism; climate change, the environment, and armed conflict; and enhancing respect for IHL. These issues include matters not addressed in previous reports, such as sieges, the use of artificial intelligence in warfare, and the protection of persons with disabilities. The report also provides an update on some of the issues that were addressed in previous reports and that remain high on the international agenda, such as the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, certain new technologies of warfare, and foreign fighters and their families.

International humanitarian law IHL , also referred to as the laws of armed conflict , is the law that regulates the conduct of war jus in bello. The international humanitarian law is inspired by considerations of humanity and the mitigation of human suffering. It is designed to balance humanitarian concerns and military necessity , and subjects warfare to the rule of law by limiting its destructive effect and mitigating human suffering. Serious violations of international humanitarian law are called war crimes.

4 Basic Principles

International humanitarian law IHL , also known as the laws of war or the law of armed conflict, is the legal framework applicable to situations of armed conflict and occupation. As a set of rules and principles it aims, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict.

Program on International Law and Armed Conflict

The Handbook consists of 32 Chapters in seven parts. Part I provides the historical background and sets out some of the contemporary challenges. Part II considers the relevant sources of international law. Part III describes the different legal regimes: land warfare, air warfare, maritime warfare, the law of occupation, the law applicable to peace operations, and the law of neutrality. Part IV introduces key concepts in international humanitarian law: weapons and the notion of superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering, the principle of distinction, proportionality, genocide and crimes against humanity, grave breaches and war crimes, internal armed conflict. Part V looks at key rights: the right to life, the prohibition on torture, the right to fair trial, economic, social and cultural rights, the protection of the environment, the protection of cultural property, and the human rights of the members of the armed forces.

This article questions the conventional histories of international humanitarian law, which view international humanitarian law as the heir to a long continuum of codes of warfare. It demonstrates instead that the term international humanitarian law first appeared in the s, as the product of work done by various actors pursuing different ends. The new idea of an international humanitarian law was codified in the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions.

Program on International Law and Armed Conflict

Purpose of this guide

Navigate through this guide by clicking on the pertinent tab in the range you can see above this box below the main title of this guide. Treaties, law reports and journals are not arranged according to subject, but commentaries textbooks etc are grouped into subject areas. Some broad brush subject searches to use in SOLO:. Humanitarian law Combatants and noncombatants International law. SOLO searches may reveal that other Bodleian Libraries hold materials which would also support your research.

Кто он. - Понятия не имею. - Похож на китайца. Японец, подумал Беккер. - Бедняга.

Сигналы продолжались. Источник их находился где-то совсем близко. Сьюзан поворачивалась то влево, то вправо. Она услышала шелест одежды, и вдруг сигналы прекратились. Сьюзан замерла. Мгновение спустя, как в одном из самых страшных детских кошмаров, перед ней возникло чье-то лицо.

Подождите! - Сеньор Ролдан был коммерсантом до мозга костей. А вдруг это клиент. Новый клиент с севера.

 - Он обошел систему Сквозь строй. - Да… и… - слова застревали у нее в горле. Он убил Дэвида.

Это было убийство - Ermordung.  - Беккеру нравилось это немецкое слово, означающее убийство. От него так и веяло холодом.

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