The Scope of the Obligation to Respect and to Ensure Respect for International Humanitarian Law
20 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011
Date Written: 2009
This article disputes what seems to have become the dominant interpretation of the obligation to respect and to ensure respect for International Humanitarian Law, as codified in common Article1 of the Geneva Conventions and in Article 1(1) of Additional Protocol I. According to this dominant interpretation, States are required to take all appropriate measures to ensure that IHL is observed universally, including by other States and by non-State actors operating in other States. It is argued that the intention of the High Contracting Parties, coupled with their subsequent practice, calls for a much more narrow interpretation of that obligation.
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