Basic rules of the law of armed conflict
in The contemporary law of armed conflict
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The rules and principles are applicable regardless of the legality or justness of the conflict, and even if operations are undertaken by way of punitive or police action in the name of the United Nations. The humanitarian principles that operate during armed conflict are to be found in customs originally based on rules of chivalry as between the feudal orders of knighthood. To a great extent these humanitarian principles are to be found in Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Broadly speaking, they amount to the basic and minimum conditions underlying the rule of law as understood in modern society. Whether the Hague and Geneva Conventions are regarded as codificatory of customary or creative of new law, they are not and do not purport to be exhaustive.

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