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This book examines the historical evolution of international humanitarian law, in particular the legal and political bases for the penalisation of infractions associated with this body of law. The interaction of law, politics and financial considerations have proved detrimental for staging criminal prosecutions, even to this day, but ultimately have not negated the criminal liability of perpetrators. The book explores the various forms of direct participation in humanitarian law offences and the concept of the doctrine of superior responsibility. It stipulates the liability of those persons who, being in a position of authority, fail to prevent or punish crimes committed by their subordinates. The book deals with the elaboration of a legal theoretical model, defined as the 'duty to control', which attempts to address the gap identified in the relevant law of causation. It traces the evolution of humanitarian law in the context of non-international armed conflicts, with the aim of determining the application of humanitarian and criminal norms therein. Although for the purposes of humanitarian law the distinction between non-international and international conflicts is becoming less significant, people must still be aware of the mechanism known as 'conflict classification'. The world's major powers, with the exception of the UK, have expressly or implicitly widened their judicial jurisdiction by penalising extraterritorial breaches committed in internal armed conflicts. The book focuses on the legislative and judicial efforts of developed nations, mainly from Europe and North America. For these countries, the suppression of extraterritorial crime is not of imminent importance.

Ilias Bantekas

illegal acts, but not those tolerating or failing to punish them. They do not argue that the doctrine is misconceived, they simply refuse to subject their military to it, as far as this is possible without showing forthright contempt for international humanitarian law. For example, the United States’ multiple grounds of refusal to subject its military personnel to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

in Principles of direct and superior responsibility in international humanitarian law
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

’ following the 9/11 attacks, violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) have been described as ‘increasingly serious’, culminating – at the time of writing – in systematic attacks on hospitals and other civilian sites in Syria. Similar attacks in Afghanistan, Yemen and South Sudan add to the picture of once respected IHL being trampled. Some offer numbers as evidence, citing the fact that the overwhelming percentage of victims in World War I were soldiers, compared with

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Third edition
Author:

This book bridges the gap between the legal theory propounded in academic works and the practical implementation of customary and treaty law as evidenced by military manuals, operational orders and instructions or in reports relating to incidents occurring in armed conflict. It illustrates conflicts, generally those in which British sailors, soldiers and airmen have been involved. The book highlights the more recent judgments and opinions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, the comprehensive work of the International Committee of the Red Cross with regard to customary international humanitarian law and the meaning of 'direct participation in hostilities', the Harvard University air and missile warfare project, the San Remo Manual on non-international armed conflicts, and the UK Law of Armed Conflict Manual of 2004. It discusses the protection of the wounded and sick, the security aspects of belligerent occupation and, because this is constantly raised as a weakness of the law of armed conflict, on the implementation and enforcement of this branch of the law. Concerns about recent events, such as publication of the 'Torture Papers', conditions at Abu Ghraib, the perceived 'legal hole' at Guantanamo Bay or the United Kingdom's Baha Mousa inquiry, caused the author to reflect on the utility of the law of armed conflict given the apparent willingness of some to exploit loopholes in the law or deploy ingenious approaches to its interpretation to the detriment of humanity.

Melanie Klinkner

In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A humanitarian approach to reshape the global nuclear order
Author:

For decades, nuclear weapons have been portrayed as essential to the security of the few states that possess them, and as a very ‘normal’ part of national and international security. These states have engaged in enormous programmes of acquisition and development, have disregarded the humanitarian implications of these weapons, and sought to persuade their publics that national security was dependent on the promise of killing hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of civilians. The term ‘nuclearism’ has been used to describe this era, and several elements of nuclearism are explored here to identify how these states have been able to sustain their possession of nuclear arsenals. By perpetuating a discourse of ‘security’ which avoided international humanitarian law, by limiting decisions on nuclear policy to small groups of elites, by investing vast amounts of resources in their nuclear programs, and by using the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to perpetuate their privileged status as nuclear states, despite their promises to disarm, the great powers have been able to sustain a highly unequal – and dangerous – global nuclear order. This order is now under challenge, as the Humanitarian Initiative explored the implications of nuclear weapons’ use. Its sobering findings led non-nuclear states, supported by civil society actors, to create the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, making these weapons illegal, for all states. The Humanitarian Initiative has posed a challenge to all the elements of nuclearism, and has resulted in a significant rejection of the existing nuclear order. The treaty will not result in quick disarmament, and it faces several hurdles. It is, however, a notable achievement, delegitimizing nuclear weapons, and contributing to the goal of a nuclear-free world.

Iris Müller

International humanitarian law 1 is a branch of international law whose core treaties enjoy wide support: in particular, the 1949 Geneva Conventions have been universally acceded to or ratified. 2 Significant numbers of States have also become parties to other international humanitarian law treaties, such as the 1977 Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions: Additional Protocol I, 3 relating to international armed conflicts, 4 and Additional Protocol II, 5 relating to non-international armed conflicts. 6 The continuing relevance of customary

in International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law
Abstract only
Math Noortmann
and
Luke D. Graham

international humanitarian law ( jus in bello ). 64 The prohibition of (armed) force Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits ‘the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of a State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN’. This prohibition is seen as a codification of binding customary international law. The

in The basics of international law
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

acknowledges the fact that dealing with migration today in Europe is extremely political. It points to existing maritime law and international humanitarian law to remind states of their obligations. And what’s really interesting since the end of June is that we have ended up in a situation in which rogue European states are deliberately throwing the law to the dogs. Now we know exactly what’s going on in Libya. We know that European states are responsible for refoulement , sending people back to torture, rape and detention in Libya. This is completely

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Michaël Neuman
,
Fernando Espada
, and
Róisín Read

tasked her with defining those policies. She also warns of the contemporary trend to shift the use of risk management from enabling operations and facilitating access to populations to protecting the organisation from legal or reputational risks. All the contributions demonstrate that a reliance on international humanitarian law (IHL) and humanitarian principles to ensure the security of humanitarian teams and projects might well be unfounded. Rony Brauman offers his own historical perspective

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs