Towards Equality of Belligerents: Why Are Armed Groups Bound by IHL?

Presented at the "Experts Conference on International Humanitarian Law: Emerging issues in the Law of Armed Conflicts", organized by American University Washington College of Law and the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society on March 28th, 2012

25 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2015

See all articles by Marcos Kotlik

Marcos Kotlik

University of Buenos Aires (UBA) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2012

Abstract

One of the biggest remaining challenges of contemporary IHL is to enhance compliance among armed groups. This paper explores the current explanations regarding armed groups' obligation to comply with IHL and it discusses their appropriateness and usefulness. Then, it is submitted that armed groups must comply with IHL by virtue of a combination of explanations which are respectful of the principle of equality of belligerents, since they recognize the role of non-state actors in the formation of IHL. Finally, it argues that this combination may contribute to the ongoing development of strategies to achieve enhanced IHL compliance by armed groups.

Keywords: armed group, armed conflict, IHL, international humanitarian law, equallity of belligerents

Suggested Citation

Kotlik, Marcos, Towards Equality of Belligerents: Why Are Armed Groups Bound by IHL? (February 1, 2012). Presented at the "Experts Conference on International Humanitarian Law: Emerging issues in the Law of Armed Conflicts", organized by American University Washington College of Law and the American Society of International Law’s Lieber Society on March 28th, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2621783 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2621783

Marcos Kotlik (Contact Author)

University of Buenos Aires (UBA) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Av. Figueroa Alcorta 2263
C1425CKB
Argentina

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