The law and non-international conflicts
in The contemporary law of armed conflict
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A non-international conflict has traditionally been one in which the governmental authorities of a state are opposed by groups within that state seeking to overthrow those authorities by force of arms. In accordance with the fundamental principle of customary international law concerning the independence of a sovereign authority, this type of conflict has traditionally been regarded as falling outside the ambit of international law. Apart from Article 3, common to the 1949 Conventions, the first major attempt to introduce international legal control of non-international conflicts by way of a statement of black-letter law is Protocol II, 1977, relating to the protection of victims of non-international conflicts. In non-international armed conflicts, as in those of an international character, civilians are to be protected against the dangers arising from the conflict.

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