Challenging the Westphalian Order: Incorporating Armed Groups in Law-Making Under International Humanitarian Law
Posted: 6 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 31, 2017
In recent times, much focus has been placed on the incorporation of certain non-State actors, such as NGOs and transnational corporations, into different law-making processes, despite the fact that the resulting rules are considered as soft law. Little attention has been paid, however, to the possibility of affording non-State armed groups a degree of participation in law-making processes, mainly due to the argument that this might inappropriately legitimize them. Although it is not realistic for non-State armed groups (NSAGs) to participate formally in the drafting of multilateral treaties, it will be argued that it is not only possible, but to some extent desirable too for their views to be reflected in the development of future humanitarian rules. In this paper, I will deal with four mechanisms through which armed groups could be included in law-making processes. Furthermore, special consideration will be given to Geneva Call’s Deed of Commitment applied in the case of Sudan, as this provides an example of the way in which the commitment of an armed group to adhere to rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) can influence in practice the position of States in ratifying treaties on IHL, such as the Ottawa Convention in this case.
Keywords: armed groups, non-State armed groups (NSAGs), international humanitarian law (IHL), law-making, tools of express commitments, Deeds of Commitment (DoC), ownership, compliance.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation