International Humanitarian Law

Introduction

International Humanitarian Law - Research Guide International Law

International Humanitarian Law, also known as the Laws of War or Law of Armed Conflict is the part of public international law that regulates international and non-international armed conflict. International Humanitarian Law consists of the rules applicable during the conflict. These rules also apply to a situation of occupation arising from armed conflict. The International Humanitarian Law rules can be found in both treaties and international customary law. The main objective of these rules is to provide protection to the civilian population and civilian objects as well as to those persons who are no longer taking part in the hostilities. In addition, International Humanitarian Law rules aim to restrict the methods and means of warfare used during the hostilities by the parties involved. The International Committee of the Red Cross, a non-governmental humanitarian organization with its headquarter in Geneva, is the primary institution for International Humanitarian Law. Established in 1863, the initiatives of the ICRC have greatly contributed to the development of international humanitarian law. The ICRC also monitors the implementation of International Humanitarian Law rules and norms.

Recent publications on International Humanitarian Law:

Egeland, Kjølv. “Machine Autonomy and the Uncanny: Recasting Ethical, Legal, and Operational Implications of the Development of Autonomous Weapon Systems.” (2014). Free download
Abstract: While robots and automata have traditionally belonged to the realm of fiction, they are rapidly becoming an issue for the disarmament community. On the one hand, some experts believe that robots programmed to adhere to international humanitarian law (IHL) will be able to act more ethically than …

Anderson, Kenneth and Reisner, Daniel and Waxman, Matthew C., “Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems” (September 2014). 90 International Law Studies 386-411 (Sept. 2014) (Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, US Naval War College). Free download
Abstract: As increasingly automated – and in some cases fully autonomous – weapon systems enter the battlefield or become possible, it is important that international norms to regulate them head down a path that is coherent and practical. Contrary to the claims of some advocates, autonomous weapon systems are not …

Zemach, Ariel, “Can Occupation Resulting from a War of Self-Defense Become Illegal?” (September 2014). Minnesota Journal of International Law, Forthcoming. Free download
Abstract: Illegal occupation gives rise to a duty of the occupant to withdraw from the occupied territory immediately and unconditionally. International law has long recognized the illegality of occupation that results from an unlawful use of force by the occupying state. An emerging approach among international lawyers …

This Guide is intended as a starting point for research on International Humanitarian Law. It provides a selection of the legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Manuals, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Bibliography section. There are also links to the PPL Catalogue inserted. The Library’s systematic index code, i.e., 211  and subject heading (keyword) International Humanitarian Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, the Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

The International Humanitarian Law Research Guide of the Peace Palace Library is updated regularly in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Library in Geneva.

Bibliography

Reference works

Books

Articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles

Updated every Friday morning.

The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on International Humanitarian Law.


1. El conflicto de Iraq y el derecho internacional
El conflicto de Iraq y el derecho internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.). - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida ; Santiago de Compostela : Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 2013. - 705 pages. ; 24 cm. - (Sud-nord ; 19) 2003-2013, ten years of the death of José Couso Permuy. - Text in English, Catalan or Spanish. - With notes. - 2013
Keywords: United States of America, Iraq War (2003), Intervention, International humanitarian law, War crimes,

2. Menschenrechte und humanitäres Völkerrecht: Umfang und Grenzen der Zuständigkeit des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte
Menschenrechte und humanitäres Völkerrecht: Umfang und Grenzen der Zuständigkeit des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte / Karin Oellers-Frahm. - Heidelberg : C.F. Müller. - Page 491-504 In: Grenzüberschreitendes Recht - Crossing Frontiers : Festschrift für Kay Hailbronner / herausgegeben von Georg Jochum, Wolfgang Fritzemeyer, Marcel Kau, ISBN 3811439146: (2013), Page 491-504. - 2013
Keywords: European Court of Human Rights, European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Rome, 4 November 1950), Human rights, International humanitarian law,

3. Asylum in the Battlefield
Asylum in the Battlefield / Achilles Skordas. - Heidelberg : C.F. Müller. - Page 615-631 In: Grenzüberschreitendes Recht - Crossing Frontiers : Festschrift für Kay Hailbronner / herausgegeben von Georg Jochum, Wolfgang Fritzemeyer, Marcel Kau, ISBN 3811439146: (2013), Page 615-631. - 2013
Keywords: Afghanistan, Iraq, United Nations, Armed conflicts, Asylum, Human rights, International humanitarian law,

4. El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional
El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional / Albert Galinsoga Jordà. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 25-124 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 25-124. - 2013
Keywords: Iraq War (2003), Sovereignty, Use of force, Pre-emptive use of force, Jus ad bellum, International humanitarian law, State responsibility,

5. La proteccion del derecho a la vida en los conflictos armados actuales: los asesinatos selectivos y las ejecuciones extrajudiciales ante el Derecho Internacional
La proteccion del derecho a la vida en los conflictos armados actuales: los asesinatos selectivos y las ejecuciones extrajudiciales ante el Derecho Internacional / José Luis Rodríguez-Villasante y Prieto. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 151-180 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 151-180. - 2013
Keywords: Armed conflicts, Human life, Combatants and non-combatants, Protection of civilian persons, Human rights, International humanitarian law,

6. La tortura y los tratos inhumanos en el conflicto iraquí
La tortura y los tratos inhumanos en el conflicto iraquí / Fernando M. Mariño Menéndez. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 335-346 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 335-346. - 2013
Keywords: United States of America, Terrorism, Human rights, International humanitarian law, Legitimacy,

7. Las empresas militares y de seguridad privadas ante el Derecho Internacional de los derechos humanos: su actuación en el conflicto iraquí
Las empresas militares y de seguridad privadas ante el Derecho Internacional de los derechos humanos: su actuación en el conflicto iraquí / Jaume Saura Estapà. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 347-368 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 347-368. - 2013
Keywords: Iraq War (2003), Private military companies, International humanitarian law, Armed conflicts, Human rights,

8. El conflicto de Iraq y el patrimonio cultural
El conflicto de Iraq y el patrimonio cultural / Núria Camps Mirabet. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 369-385 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 369-385. - 2013
Keywords: Iraq, Iraq War (2003), Cultural heritage, Cultural property, International humanitarian law, International instruments,

9. Tipicidad y antijuridicidad de los delitos contra las personas y bienes protegidos en caso de conflicto armado en el Código Penal español
Tipicidad y antijuridicidad de los delitos contra las personas y bienes protegidos en caso de conflicto armado en el Código Penal español / José B. Acosta Estévez. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 435-480 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 435-480. - 2013
Keywords: Spain, Geneva Conventions (1949), Criminal law, International law and domestic law, International humanitarian law,

10. Los ataques contra la población civil como crimen internacional
Los ataques contra la población civil como crimen internacional / Eva Montoro Morate. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 481-507 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 481-507. - 2013
Keywords: Armed conflicts, Civilian population, Protection of civilian persons, International humanitarian law, International criminal law, International crimes,

11. El caso Couso ante la jurisdicción española
El caso Couso ante la jurisdicción española / Enrique Santiago Romero. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 557-578 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 557-578. - 2013
Keywords: Iraq War (2003), Spain, International crimes, International humanitarian law, International law and domestic law,

12. El Derecho Internacional humanitario y su aplicación al caso Couso (Hotel Palestina, Bagdad [Iraq], 8 de abril de 2003)
El Derecho Internacional humanitario y su aplicación al caso Couso (Hotel Palestina, Bagdad [Iraq], 8 de abril de 2003) / Albert Galinsoga Jordà. - Lleida : Edicions de la Universitat de Lleida. - Page 595-640 In: El conflicto de Iraq y el Derecho Internacional : el caso Couso / Albert Galinsoga Jordà (ed.), ISBN 9788484094135: (2013), Page 595-640. - 2013
Keywords: Iraq War (2003), Spain, International humanitarian law, Journalism, Protection of civilian persons, War crimes, Criminal law, State responsibility,

13. The Syrian Civil War and the Achilles' Heel of the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict
The Syrian Civil War and the Achilles' Heel of the Law of Non-International Armed Conflict / Tom Ruys In: Stanford Journal of International Law = ISSN 0731-5082: vol. 50, issue 2, page 247-280. - 2013
Keywords: Syria, Civil wars, Non-international armed conflicts, Combatants and non-combatants, Prisoners of war, International humanitarian law,

14. Persons with Disabilities in International Humanitarian Law - Paternalism, Protectionism or Rights?
Persons with Disabilities in International Humanitarian Law - Paternalism, Protectionism or Rights? / Janet E. Lord. - Farnham ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate. - Page 155-177 In: Disability, Human Rights and the Limits of Humanitarianism / edited by Michael Gill, Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, ISBN 9781472420916: (2014), Page 155-177. - 2014
Keywords: Invalidity, Human rights, Humanitarianism, International humanitarian law, Geneva Conventions (1949), United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (New York, 13 December 2006),

15. An Evaluation of the U.S. Policy of "Targeted Killing" Under International Law: the Case of Anwar Al-Aulaqi (Part I)
An Evaluation of the U.S. Policy of "Targeted Killing" Under International Law: the Case of Anwar Al-Aulaqi (Part I) / Jake William Rylatt In: California Western International Law Journal = ISSN 0886-3210: vol. 44, issue 1, page 39-72. - 2013
Keywords: United States of America, Yemen, Terrorism, Al-Qaida, Targeted killings, Use of force, Laws of war, International humanitarian law,

16. Die Verbreitungsarbeitsstrategie des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes
Die Verbreitungsarbeitsstrategie des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes / Robert Heinsch, Katja Schöberl In: Humanitäres Völkerrecht = ISSN 0937-5414: vol. 27, issue 3, page 108-112. - 2014
Keywords: Germany, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International humanitarian law,

17. Ein Überblick zum UN-Menschenrechtsschutz und seinen Bezügen zum humanitären Völkerrecht
Ein Überblick zum UN-Menschenrechtsschutz und seinen Bezügen zum humanitären Völkerrecht / Wolfgang S. Heinz In: Humanitäres Völkerrecht = ISSN 0937-5414: vol. 27, issue 3, page 113-120. - 2014
Keywords: United Nations, Monitoring, Human rights, International humanitarian law,

18. Hybride Bedrohungen
Hybride Bedrohungen / Joachim Sanden, Sascha-Dominik Bachmann  In: Humanitäres Völkerrecht = ISSN 0937-5414: vol. 27, issue 3, page 120-128. - 2014
Keywords: Armed conflicts, Asymmetric warfare, Irregular warfare, Countermeasures, International humanitarian law,

19. Die Ingewahrsamnahme nicht-staatlicher Kämpfer im nicht-internationalen bewaffneten Konflikt
Die Ingewahrsamnahme nicht-staatlicher Kämpfer im nicht-internationalen bewaffneten Konflikt / Christoph Schütz In: Humanitäres Völkerrecht = ISSN 0937-5414: vol. 27, issue 3, page 139-145. - 2014
Keywords: Afghanistan, Non-international armed conflicts, Non-State actors, Detention, International humanitarian law, Public international law,

Librarian's choice

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  • Barrat, C., Status of NGOs in International Humanitarian Law, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2014.

    In Status of NGOs in International Humanitarian Law, Claudie Barrat examines the legal framework applicable to NGOs in situations of armed conflict.  The author convincingly demonstrates, contrary to convention, that in addition to the ICRC, the National Societies and the IFRC, numerous other NGOs referenced in humanitarian law treaties have a legal status in IHL and therefore legitimate claim to employ IHL provisions to respond to current challenges.  On the basis of clear and thorough definitions of these entities, Barrat argues that existing NGOs meeting stringent definition can benefit from customary rights and obligations in both international and non-international armed conflict

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  • Weill, S., The Role of National Courts in Applying International Humanitarian Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Weill, S., The Role of National Courts in Applying International Humanitarian Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    International law is routinely applied in domestic courts. This can result in situations where the courts are being asked to rule on politically sensitive issues, especially issues which involve humanitarian actions. Domestic courts do not show a uniformity of approach in addressing cases concerning international humanitarian law, and can often be seen to differ markedly in their response. The book argues that different national courts demonstrate different functional roles in different countries. These can be situated on a scale from apology to utopia, which can be set out as follows: firstly, the apologist role of courts, in which they serve as a legitimating agency of the state’s actions; secondly, the avoiding role of courts, in which they, for policy considerations, avoid exercising jurisdiction over a case; thirdly, the deferral role of courts, in which courts defer back to the other branches of the government the responsibility of finding an appropriate remedy; fourthly, the normative application role of courts, in which they apply international humanitarian law as required by the rule of law; and, finally, the utopian role of courts, in which they introduce moral judgments in favour of the protection of the individual, beyond the requirements of the law. The book investigates the rulings of five key domestic courts, those of the UK, the USA, Canada, Italy, and Israel, to understand how their approaches differ, and where their practice can be placed on the methological scale. This analysis has been assisted by field work, notably in the Israeli military courts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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  • Darcy, S., Judges, Law and War: The Judicial Development of International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

    Darcy, S., Judges, Law and War: The Judicial Development of International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge, Cambridge university Press, 2014.

    International courts and judicial bodies play a formative role in the development of international humanitarian law. Judges, Law and War examines how judicial bodies have influenced the substantive rules and principles of the law of armed conflict, and studies the creation, application and enforcement of this corpus of laws. Specifically, it considers how international courts have authoritatively addressed the meaning and scope of particular rules, the application of humanitarian law treaties and the customary status of specific norms. Key concepts include armed conflicts and protected persons, guiding principles, fundamental guarantees, means and methods of warfare, enforcement and war crimes. Consideration is also given to the contemporary place of judicial bodies in the international law-making process, the challenges presented by judicial creativity and the role of customary international law in the development of humanitarian law.

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  • Jinks, D. (et al.) (eds.), Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: International and Domestic Aspects, The Hague, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2014. Showcase item

    Jinks, D. et al. (eds.), Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: International and Domestic Aspects, Berlin, Springer, 2014.

    International humanitarian law has been perceived till now as encompassing only judicial cases concerning refugee protection or war crimes prosecutions, particularly in domestic fora. Yet, the last decade has witnessed a revolution in the way judicial bodies – international and domestic alike – are ready to tackle complex security aspects pertaining to the laws of war. The present volume follows the international and domestic courts’ jurisprudential evolution as they deal with issues like the classification of armed conflicts, direct participation in hostilities and the nexus between international humanitarian law and human rights law. Projecting the field’s jurisprudential development in the future, the volume examines the role of international humanitarian law also in the realms of quasi-judicial bodies.

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  • Nasu, H., and R. McLaughlin (eds.), New Technologies and the Law of Armed Conflict, The Hague, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2014. Showcase item

    Nasu, H., and R. McLaughlin (eds.), New Technologies and the Law of Armed Conflict, The Hague, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2014.

    Modern technological development has been both rapid and fundamentally transformative of the means and methods of warfare, and of the broader environment in which warfare is conducted. In many cases, technological development has been stimulated by, and dedicated to, addressing military requirements. On other occasions, technological developments outside the military sphere affect or inform the conduct of warfare and military expectations. The introduction of new technologies such as information technology, space technologies, nanotechnology and robotic technologies into our civil life, and into warfare, is expected to influence the application and interpretation of the existing rules of the law of armed conflict. In this book, scholars and practitioners working in the fields critically examine the potential legal challenges arising from the use of new technologies and future directions of legal development in light of the specific characteristics and challenges each technology presents with regard to foreseeable humanitarian impacts upon the battlespace.

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  • Clapham, A., and P. Gaeta (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Clapham, A., and P. Gaeta (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    This Oxford Handbook provides an authoritative overview of key topics related to the application of international law in armed conflict. The Handbook engages in a broad analysis of international humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, international criminal and environmental law, and the law on the use of force. The Handbook features 32 essays by leading scholars and practitioners with an emphasis on understanding key concepts and analysing emerging problems related to terrorism, new types of weapons, international criminal law, and the interaction between humanitarian law and human rights law

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  • Pocar, F. (et al.) (eds.), War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities: Challenges to Adjudication and Investigation, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013.

    Pocar, F. (et al.) (eds.), War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities: Challenges to Adjudication and Investigation, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013.

    Most charges for war crimes are brought for violations of the rules on the treatment of protected persons in armed conflict situations. However in certain cases, they are brought for serious breach of international humanitarian law rules governing the conduct of hostilities. This book seeks to address this somewhat neglected area of international criminal law. War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities identifies the challenges faced by prosecutors, investigators and courts and tribunals in the definition, investigation and adjudication of war crimes, based on violations of the rules of international humanitarian law on the conduct of hostilities. Detailed and topical sections in the book include; violations of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, violations of the rules protecting particular categories of persons, violations of the rules on means of warfare and the special case of terrorism in armed conflicts.

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  • Barnidge, R.P. (ed.), The Liberal Way of War: Legal Perspectives, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013.

    Barnidge, R.P. (ed.), The Liberal Way of War: Legal Perspectives, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013.

    Examining some of the huge challenges that liberal States faced in the decade after 11 September 2001, the chapters in this book address three aspects of the impact of more than a decade of military action.This book begins by considering four different expressions of universalist moral aspirations, including the prohibition of torture, and discusses migration and ‘responsibility to protect,’ as well as the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations about security and liberty in the last decade. International humanitarian law and the problems posed by the territorial character of war and the effects of new technologies and child soldiers are also analysed. Finally, Islamic law and its interface with international law is considered from a new perspective, and contributions in this final part offer a different way of thinking about an authentically Islamic modernisation that would be compatible with Western models of political order. With contributions from international lawyers from diverse backgrounds, this book fills an important gap in the literature on the themes of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and Islamic law.

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  • Müller, A., The Relationship between Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Humanitarian Law: An Analysis of Health-Related Issues in Non-International Armed Conflicts, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.

    Müller, A., The Relationship between Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Humanitarian Law: An Analysis of Health-Related Issues in Non-International Armed Conflicts, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.

    The author offers a detailed analysis of the legal consequences of the parallel application of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) to non-international armed conflicts.
    With a focus on health related issues, the book covers important topics like the scope of limitations to and derogations from ESC rights, questions related to the integration of the right to health in military-target decisions, states’ obligations to mitigate the adverse public health impact of armed conflicts and obligations relating to the provision of humanitarian assistance. It moves the discussion about the parallel application of IHL and human rights to a new level, highlighting its potential to enhance the protection of people affected by armed conflicts but also the difficulties involved.

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  • Chamberlain, K., War and Cultural Heritage: An Analysis of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Two Protocols (2nd ed.), Crickadarn, Institute of Art and Law, 2013.

    Chamberlain, K., War and Cultural Heritage: An Analysis of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Two Protocols (2nd ed.), Crickadarn, Institute of Art and Law, 2013.

    War and Cultural Heritage contains in a single volume an article by  article commentary on the 1954 Hague Convention and its Two Protocols. The book  also analyses other instruments of international humanitarian law relevant to  the protection of cultural property. This includes the 1949 Geneva Conventions  and the 1977 Additional Protocols, which had a profound influence on the  drafting of the 1954 Convention and the Second Protocol respectively. The book  also examines the extent to which the provisions of the 1954 Convention and its  Protocols are part of customary international humanitarian law. The book takes  into account the latest developments regarding the international efforts to  secure restitution of Holocaust-looted cultural property, including the work of  the UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel. The civil war in Syria has resulted in extensive destruction of that nation’s  cultural heritage. More recently in the conflict in Mali Islamist insurgents  retreating from Timbuktu set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless  historic manuscripts, described by the town’s mayor as a devastating blow to world heritage. These incidents demonstrate the need for all parties engaged in armed conflict to have regard to the rules of international law concerning the  protection of cultural property.

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  • Baxter, R. and D.F. Vagts (et al.) (eds.), Humanizing the Laws of War: Selected Writings of Richard Baxter, Oxford, Oxford university Press, 2013.

    Baxter, R. and D.F. Vagts (et al.) (eds.), Humanizing the Laws of War: Selected Writings of Richard Baxter, Oxford, Oxford university Press, 2013.

    This book celebrates the scholarship of Richard Baxter, former Judge of the International Court of Justice and former Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School. The volume brings together Professor Baxter’s writings on the laws of war, on which he was one of the most influential scholars of the twentieth century. The collection of essays contained in this book once again makes his exceptional writings available to scholars and students in the field. His work remains timely and relevant to today’s issues, and offers many analyses which have been borne out in subsequent years. It includes, amongst many wide-ranging topics within the laws of war, Baxter’s studies of the Geneva Conventions, human rights in times of war, and the legal problems of international military command. Featuring a new introduction by Professor Detlev Vagts exploring the importance of Baxter’s writings, and a Biographical Note by Judge Stephen Schwebel assessing Baxter’s life, this book is essential reading for scholars and students of international humanitarian law.

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  • Kolb, R., and G. Gaggioli (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013.

     Kolb, R., and G. Gaggioli (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013.

    This book explores the interplay between international human rights law and international humanitarian law, offering expert analysis on the increasingly complex issues surrounding their application in conflict areas across the world. Contributors to this volume provide a comprehensive treatment of the ongoing relationship between human rights law and humanitarian law, from the historical background and origins of the two bodies of law to their various applications today. Divided into four parts – Historical Background, Common Issues, The Need for a Combined Approach, and Monitoring Mechanisms – the Handbook presents a rich and varied spectrum of original research and thought from some of the brightest minds in the field.

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Database

Blogs

  • Are There Limits To Warfare?

    Pro-Russian separatists marched captured Ukrainian soldiers through the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk over the weekend. The march was a news event that got the attention of many, including international human rights activists, calling the march a violation of the Geneva Conventions’ rules on the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs). The Geneva Conventions are at the core of international humanitarian law and provide a detailed framework for the protection of prisoners of war during armed conflict.

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  • Hague Academy Model United Nations on Drone Warfare and International Law

    Directed energy weapons, drones, self targeting bullets, mobile tactical high energy lasers, military robots, spy weapons, weapons undetectable under an x-ray scan, remote controlled insect armies, self driving tanks, robotic mules, thermal camouflage, surveillance technologies and autonomous unmanned systems are some examples of the high tech weapons and military technology that are now used during warfare. The use of this state of the art military technology raises serious ethical and legal questions: (when) is the use of drones acceptable?

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  • 60th Anniversary of the UNESCO 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of an Armed Conflict

    The 1954 Convention is the basic international treaty formulating rules to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts. It regulates the conduct of nations during war and military occupation in order to assure the protection of cultural sites, monuments and repositories, including museums, libraries and archives. A Round table meeting in the Peace Palace is organized on Monday, 12 May 2014.

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  • Crimes against Cultural Property in Mali

    In an earlier Peace Palace Library blog (Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and war crimes) Ingrid Kost wrote that the Islamist Group Ansar (Ed)dine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu, Mali. One of the major causes of destruction of cultural property (the illicit trading, stealing and looting of cultural property is not covered in this blog) over the ages has been armed conflict. Crimes against cultural property should therefore be addressed properly.

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  • Colombia: At Last Peace with the FARC?

    Columbia’s fourth attempt at peace with the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) started formally last month in Oslo and will continue the 15th of November in Havana, Cuba. The earlier attempts- starting in 1984, 1990 and 1998- to end one of Latin America’s longest and bloodiest armed conflict all failed. Why would the outcome of the peace talks this time be different?

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  • The Legality of Drone Attacks

    According to a recent report by Stanford and New York Universities’ law schools (Living Under Drones), the current US drone strike policy is counterproductive, has injured and killed civilians and undermines respect for international law. This blog explores briefly both the ius ad bellum and ius in bello implications of drone attacks.

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  • The Body Counts : Civilian Casualties in War

    Throughout the post Cold War period there has been a widespread view that war and armed conflict have changed radically since the First World War to the point where some 80-90% of war victims are now civilians. Many modern wars have been accompanied by significant depopulations, along with destruction of infrastructure and resources.

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  • The International Criminal Court Delivers Judgment on Child Soldiers

    On Wednesday 14 March, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered it’s first verdict. In a unanimous decision three judges convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities. With this judgment the ICC firmly establishes the use of children in armed conflict as an international crime and also focuses renewed attention on the many thousands of children still used in various other conflicts in the world.

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  • A Licence to Kill? The assassination of Osama Bin Laden: Has the USA gone too far in acting as a policeman or was the raid justified?

    Osama Bin Laden (OBL) is dead. He was killed by a special ops team from the United States of America (USA), “after a firefight.” After OBL had been assassinated, the special team of SEALS took the deceased body of the dangerous mastermind terrorist and several hard drives from the compound in Abbottabad. Bin laden had been hiding there with his family for several years without being noticed. When the Pentagon researched the hard drives, it appeared that OBL had been planning new attacks, at least on several US cities and also on European locations. Upon hearing this news so many have sighed with relief that the secret services of the USA found out about these planned attacks before they could actually take place. Obama, President of the USA stated that “justice had been done” by executing OBL. But “what kind of justice” The assassination also led to a lot of questions and criticism: Was the raid justified?

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  • Dresden 1945 : an Allied War Crime?

    Since 1945, the bombing of Dresden is considered by many as a violation of international law and as a crime against humanity, even though positive rules of international humanitarian law were absent at the time. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of international law. However these conventions, adressing the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power. Despite repeated diplomatic attempts (→ The Hague Rules of Air Warefare 1922/1923) to update international humanitarian law to include aerial warfare, it was not done before the outbreak of World War II. The absence of positive international humanitarian law does not mean that the laws of war did not cover aerial warfare, but there was no general agreement of how to interpret those laws.
    The aerial bombardment of Dresden does not only raise the question as to whether or not it was an Allied war crime, but it also makes a moral appeal to prevent total war against civilian populations. It’s memory is kept alive.

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  • “De bijdrage van Nederland aan de codificatie van het moderne humanitaire recht (1800-1914)”

    A legal historical study of the development of international humanitarian law in the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century in the Netherlands.Recently the Peace Palace Library received a gift from the children of D.J.H.N. den Beer Poortugael (Herman den Beer Poortugael). The gift, a book titled: “De bijdrage van Nederland aan de [...]

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  • New Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) to be signed on December 3, 2008

    Cluster Bomb Tour Bus takes on Eastern Europe

    On Wednesday, 1st October an eight-week campaign trail through Europe was launched to convince all governments to sign a groundbreaking treaty banning cluster bombs, in Oslo on December 3, 2008. Beginning in Belgrade, Serbia and ending at the signing ceremony in Norway, the Ban Bus will rally [...]

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  • Judgement of the ICTY Appeals Chamber in the 'Dubrovnik' Case

    On Thursday, 17 July, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) rendered its judgement [PDF document] on the appeals of both the Prosecution and the Defense against the conviction and sentence of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) General Pavle Strugar (Case No. IT-01-42-A).

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