The Customary International Law Applicable in Non-International Armed Conflicts
Australian International Law Journal, Vol. 15, pp 29-54, 2008
36 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011
Date Written: November 7, 2008
This article looks at the emergence and evolution of the customary international humanitarian law applicable in situations of non-international armed conflict. In the years since the adoption of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols, a large number of rules relating to conduct in armed conflict have crystallised as customary international law, applicable in all instances of armed conflict. The significance of such development is that there are far fewer treaty rules regulating conduct in non-international armed conflict than in international armed conflict. Customary international humanitarian law has 'stepped in' to fill in many of the lacunae in the current treaty law of non-international armed conflict. It is now possible to speak of a comprehensive body of rules that are applicable in all instances of armed conflict. Twenty-first century armed conflict continues to evolve and defy traditional definitions of armed conflict as mainly the preserve of sovereign States. Any harmonisation of the law relating to armed conflict can only be beneficial in ensuring that more of these non-traditional armed conflicts fall within the regulatory scope of the law of war.
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