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21St Century Conflict and International Humanitarian Law: Status Quo or Change?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at some of the contemporary challenges facing international humanitarian law. In doing so this analysis touches on three of the “principal problems confronting international armed conflict (LOIAC) today” highlighted by Professor Dinstein. The analysis is divided into two parts. First, there is consideration of the degree to which conflict in the 21st century presents new problems. This is done by looking at the types of conflicts, including the “war on terror” and considering the impact of technology on methods and means of warfare. The second part of the chapter addresses the adequacy of existing law to meet contemporary challenges; looks at the present reluctance to change that law; and outlines a number of the major “cracks” in the humanitarian law normative framework. Finally, the chapter identifies a way ahead in order to ensure the law keeps pace with societal change.

Keywords: 21st century conflict; Conflict; Humanitarian Law: Status Quo; international humanitarian law; International Humanitarian Law: Status; law ofinternational armed conflict (LOIAC); Professor Dinstein; war on terror



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