Convergence of Norms Across the Spectrum of Armed Conflicts – International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
DETENTION OF NON-STATE ACTORS ENGAGED IN HOSTILITIES: THE FUTURE LAW, G. Rose, ed., Forthcoming
16 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2012
International armed conflicts are by far the most highly regulated types of conflict, with a raft of treaties and comprehensive customary international law regulating permissible state conduct. By comparison, non-international armed conflicts have comparatively few laws regulating their conduct. However, despite the apparent lack of comprehensive treaty rules regulating non-international armed conflict, and the seemingly entrenched legal division between the types of armed conflicts, an examination of the history of IHL actually demonstrates a growing willingness among states to accept the introduction of more rules – and more detailed rules at that – on permissible conduct in non-international armed conflicts. The progressive development of the law of armed conflict over the past century has evidenced a growing acceptance of the need for comprehensive guidelines on the conduct of hostilities, whether they are international or non-international. This confluence of norms has been influenced significantly by the emergence in the post-World War II era of international human rights law. The wealth of treaties, declarations and customary law protecting human rights has seen states began to accept limits on their sovereign power in the name of protecting the rights of their citizens. In turn, the belief that states’ rights could only extend so far in their conduct towards their citizens necessarily influenced the conduct of states in non-international armed conflicts. With this background in mind, this chapter will examine how, over the past 60 years, we have seen a convergence in the laws relating to armed conflict, to the point that it is possible to speak of a large body of law applicable in all armed conflicts.
Keywords: international humanitarian law, international human rights law, convergence, international armed conflict, non-international armed conflict
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation