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Obligations of non-State armed actors in internal armed conflicts

Longworth, Sally Alexandra (2008)
Department of Law
Abstract
Internal armed conflicts are today the more common mode of warfare and a growing concern for the international community to address. In this, the difficulty of addressing non-State armed groups has grown in salience and importance. Non-State armed actors are held by the international community as responsible for their actions based on international humanitarian law. As such, if international humanitarian law is to be effective in non-international armed conflicts, it is essential to fully understand what these standards are and what armed opposition groups must do to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law. Both Common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 state they are applicable to... (More)
Internal armed conflicts are today the more common mode of warfare and a growing concern for the international community to address. In this, the difficulty of addressing non-State armed groups has grown in salience and importance. Non-State armed actors are held by the international community as responsible for their actions based on international humanitarian law. As such, if international humanitarian law is to be effective in non-international armed conflicts, it is essential to fully understand what these standards are and what armed opposition groups must do to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law. Both Common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 state they are applicable to both parties to a conflict and are addressed in absolute terms. As such, the duties flowing from these provisions bind not only States, but also non-State armed groups. However, international practice has rarely indicated which measures groups must take to comply with the wide range of international norms applicable to such armed opposition groups. Human rights treaties provide a valuable interpretative device to expand upon and clarify the obligations imposed on the parties under international humanitarian law. Indeed, the necessity to utilise human rights law draws attention to the lack of efficient and effective enforcement mechanisms in international humanitarian law. Furthermore, the implementation of obligations on non-State actors is still inherently tied up with age-old problems of State sovereignty, but without State measures to enforce compliance with the minimum of standards the all too common reality of internal armed conflicts can escalate, with horrific consequences. International humanitarian law developed around the notion that the legal norms provide actual restraints to guide the conduct of individuals and are not mere theoretical matters between States. To fulfil this purpose, the facts on the ground need to be recognised and the challenge of addressed armed groups confronted. (Less)
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author
Longworth, Sally Alexandra
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
International Human Rights Law
language
English
id
1555330
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:23:24
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:23:24
@misc{1555330,
  abstract     = {Internal armed conflicts are today the more common mode of warfare and a growing concern for the international community to address. In this, the difficulty of addressing non-State armed groups has grown in salience and importance. Non-State armed actors are held by the international community as responsible for their actions based on international humanitarian law. As such, if international humanitarian law is to be effective in non-international armed conflicts, it is essential to fully understand what these standards are and what armed opposition groups must do to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law. Both Common Article 3 and Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 state they are applicable to both parties to a conflict and are addressed in absolute terms. As such, the duties flowing from these provisions bind not only States, but also non-State armed groups. However, international practice has rarely indicated which measures groups must take to comply with the wide range of international norms applicable to such armed opposition groups. Human rights treaties provide a valuable interpretative device to expand upon and clarify the obligations imposed on the parties under international humanitarian law. Indeed, the necessity to utilise human rights law draws attention to the lack of efficient and effective enforcement mechanisms in international humanitarian law. Furthermore, the implementation of obligations on non-State actors is still inherently tied up with age-old problems of State sovereignty, but without State measures to enforce compliance with the minimum of standards the all too common reality of internal armed conflicts can escalate, with horrific consequences. International humanitarian law developed around the notion that the legal norms provide actual restraints to guide the conduct of individuals and are not mere theoretical matters between States. To fulfil this purpose, the facts on the ground need to be recognised and the challenge of addressed armed groups confronted.},
  author       = {Longworth, Sally Alexandra},
  keyword      = {International Human Rights Law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Obligations of non-State armed actors in internal armed conflicts},
  year         = {2008},
}