Redressing Unlawful Use of Force in Armed Conflict: The Role of International Human Rights Law
Kurt Mills and Melissa Labonte (eds), Accessing and Implementing Human Rights and Justice, Routledge 2018
20 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2019
Date Written: 2018
The purpose of this paper is to explore whether international law supports the victims of unlawful use of force in armed conflict in seeking reparation for the harm suffered. The main argument is that international human rights law (IHRL) allows answering in the positive. The analysis will examine how this framework may enhance the ability of victims of international humanitarian law (IHL) violations to find redress in the responsible state’s domestic courts. The aim is to show that the added value of applying IHRL in armed conflict is that it may fill the gaps present in IHL concerning individual remedies.
The paper firts provides an overview of the way IHRL has gradually been interpreted in expansive terms, with a view to ensuring its applicability extraterritorially and in times of conflict. It then turns to analyse the rules regulating the use of lethal force in armed conflict. In this context, the paper explores how the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and human rights bodies have solved at the interpretive level the differences characterising IHL and IHRL in this respect. In the final section, the analysis consider how individuals may benefit from the application of IHRL in armed conflict, especially from the viewpoint of the right to a remedy and reparation.
Keywords: international humanitarian law, IHL, human rights law, HRL, armed conflict, use of force, remedy, reparation, extraterritorial application
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