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Cover International Human Rights Law

25. International Humanitarian Law  

Sandesh Sivakumaran

This chapter examines international humanitarian law, the principal body of international law which applies in times of armed conflict, and which seeks to balance the violence inherent in an armed conflict with the dictates of humanity. International humanitarian law protects the civilian population from the ravages of conflict, and establishes limitations on the means and methods of combat. The chapter first considers the nature of international humanitarian law and identifies some of its cardinal principles and key rules. It then explores the similarities and differences between international humanitarian law and international human rights law, comparing and contrasting their historical origins and conceptual approaches. Given that international humanitarian law applies during armed conflict, the chapter next considers whether there is a need for international human rights law also to apply. Finally, it ascertains the relationship between the two bodies of law and considers some of the difficulties with the application of international human rights law in time of armed conflict.

Chapter

Cover International Criminal Law

8. War crimes  

This chapter discusses the law of war crimes. It begins by introducing the basic principles of the law of armed conflict (LOAC): distinction and proportionality. It then distinguishes between international and non-international armed conflicts; outlines the contextual element and mental element required for war crimes; provides an overview of the prohibited acts that may form the conduct underlying a war crime; and examines select war crimes in more detail. The chapter concludes with a table comparing the range of offences applicable under the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute to NIACs and IACs. It also provides a hypothetical scenario to which the law can be applied.

Chapter

Cover International Law

27. The Law of Armed Conflict (International Humanitarian Law)  

David Turns

The international law of armed conflict (also known as international humanitarian law or the law of war) regulates the conduct of hostilities—including the use of weaponry—and the protection of victims in situations of both international and non-international armed conflict. Rooted in customary law, often of very great antiquity, since the late nineteenth century it has become one of the most intensively codified areas of international law. This chapter outlines the scope of application of the law; issues of personal status (combatants and civilians); the conduct of hostilities (methods and means of warfare, including choice of weapons and targeting operations); the protection of victims (sick, wounded, shipwrecked, prisoners of war, and civilians); and various ways of securing the law’s implementation and enforcement.

Book

Cover International Law

Edited by Malcolm Evans

International Law is a collection of diverse writings from leading scholars in the field that brings together a broad range of perspectives on all the key issues in international law. Featuring chapters written by those actively involved in teaching and practice, this fifth edition explains the principles of international law, and exposes the debates and challenges that underlie it. The book contains seven parts. Part I provides the history and theory of international law. Part II looks at the structure of the international law obligation. Part III covers the subjects of the international legal order. Part IV looks at the scope of sovereignty. Part V looks at responsibility. Part VI considers how to respond to breaches in international obligations. Finally, Part VII looks at the various applications of international law and explains issues relating to the law of the sea, environmental law, investment law, criminal law, human rights law, migration law, and the law of armed conflict.

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Cover International Law

15. The law of armed conflict  

This chapter assesses the law of armed conflict. The right to resort to armed force, known as ‘jus ad bellum’, is a body of law that addresses the permissibility of entering into war in the first place. Despite the restrictions imposed by this body of law, it is clear that international law does not fully forbid the use of force, and instances of armed disputes between and within States continue to exist. Consequently, a second, older body of law exists called ‘jus in bello’, or the law of armed conflict, which has sought to restrain, or at least to regulate, the actual conduct of hostilities. The basic imperative of this body of law has been to restrict warfare in order to account for humanitarian principles by prohibiting certain types of weapons, or protecting certain categories of persons, such as wounded combatants, prisoners of war, or the civilian population.

Book

Cover International Law

Anders Henriksen

International Law provides comprehensive and concise coverage of the central issues in public international law. The text takes a critical perspective on various aspects of international law, introducing the controversies and areas of debate without assuming prior knowledge of the topics discussed. Supporting learning features, including central issues boxes, chapter summaries, recommended reading and discussion questions, highlight the essential points. Topics covered include the history of international law, legal sources, the law of treaties, legal personality, jurisdiction and state immunity. The text also looks at the international law of the sea, human rights law, international environmental law, international economic law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the use of force, the laws of armed conflict and international criminal law.

Book

Cover International Law

Anders Henriksen

International Law provides comprehensive and concise coverage of the central issues in public international law. The text takes a critical perspective on various aspects of international law, introducing the controversies and areas of debate without assuming prior knowledge of the topics discussed. Supporting learning features, including central issues boxes, chapter summaries, recommended reading and discussion questions, highlight the essential points. Topics covered include the history of international law, legal sources, the law of treaties, legal personality, jurisdiction and state immunity. The text also looks at the international law of the sea, human rights law, international environmental law, international economic law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the use of force, the laws of armed conflict and international criminal law.

Chapter

Cover International Law

8. The Use of Force  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. This chapter discusses the use of force in international law. It first considers the early, failed attempts to control the use of force through the Covenant of the League of Nations in 1920 and the 1928 Pact of Paris. It then turns to the post-World War II United Nations Charter that contains a clear and absolute prohibition on the unilateral use of force, except in self-defence. It considers Charter provisions that grant the UN a very wide range of powers, including the power of the Security Council to investigate any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute. The chapter goes on to discuss the Law of Armed Conflict or jus in bello.

Book

Cover International Law

Gleider Hernández

International Law presents a comprehensive approach to the subject, providing a contemporary account of international law. The text offers critical and stimulating coverage of the central issues in public international law, introducing the key areas of debate. It encourages readers to engage with areas of legal debate and controversy and consider how they affect the world today. Topics covered include: the structure of international law; the subjects within the field of international law; international law in operation; international disputes and responses to breaches in international law; and specialized regimes, which include the law of armed conflict, refugee law, international criminal law, the law of the sea, the environment and protection, and international economic law.

Chapter

Cover International Human Rights Law

29. Terrorism  

Martin Scheinin

This chapter first addresses the question of whether terrorism constitutes a violation of human rights, or whether the notion of human rights violations can only be applied to action by states, and then considers challenges to the applicability of human rights law in the fight against terrorism, particularly since 9/11. It focuses on the notion of terrorism, and in particular the risks posed to human rights protection by vague or over-inclusive definitions of terrorism. The main section of the chapter deals with some of the major challenges posed by counter-terrorism measures to substantive human rights protections. It is argued that the unprecedented post-9/11 wave of counter-terrorism laws and measures that infringed upon human rights was a unique situation, and that governments and intergovernmental organizations are realizing that full compliance with human rights in the fight against terrorism is not only morally and legally correct but is also the most effective way of combating terrorism in the long term.