Which Law Governs During Armed Conflict? The Relationship Between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law

62 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2016 Last revised: 4 Oct 2016

See all articles by Oona A. Hathaway

Oona A. Hathaway

Yale University - Law School

Rebecca Crootof

University of Richmond School of Law; Yale University - Yale Information Society Project

Philip Levitz

Yale Law School

Haley Proctor

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

William Perdue

Independent

Chelsea Purvis

Independent

Julia Spiegel

Independent

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

Although international human rights and humanitarian law share common roots in their respective efforts to protect human dignity, the two bodies of law appear to have incompatible requirements in armed conflicts. This article draws on jurisprudence, state practice, and scholarship to describe three approaches to evaluating what is lawful in armed conflicts, explores the consequences of the various applications, and recommends that the United States employ interpretive strategies to minimize discrepancies. In situations where states’ obligations remain irreconcilable, the article endorses a “specificity decision rule” to determine the applicable legal regime.

Keywords: international humanitarian law, law of armed conflict, human rights law, jursiprudence, conflict of law

Suggested Citation

Hathaway, Oona A. and Crootof, Rebecca and Levitz, Philip and Proctor, Haley and Perdue, William and Purvis, Chelsea and Spiegel, Julia, Which Law Governs During Armed Conflict? The Relationship Between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law (January 1, 2012). Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 96, No. 1883, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2814626

Oona A. Hathaway (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
203-432-4992 (Phone)
203-432-1107 (Fax)

Rebecca Crootof

University of Richmond School of Law ( email )

28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
United States

Yale University - Yale Information Society Project ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Philip Levitz

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

Haley Proctor

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ( email )

DC
United States

William Perdue

Independent ( email )

Chelsea Purvis

Independent ( email )

Julia Spiegel

Independent ( email )

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