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Implementation and Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers some reflections on the state of affairs with respect to the implementation and enforcement of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflict. Humanitarian law is part of public international law. For briefness' sake, the author utilizes "humanitarian law" whenever he wants to refer to international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflict. Application of humanitarian law is, first of all, a task incumbent on each individual State. If States were generally diligent in complying with their obligations on the national level, the need for measures on the international level would be that much reduced. Practice shows, however, that much remains to be desired in this respect. Accordingly, a number of mechanisms have been developed for the international promotion of respect for humanitarian law.

Keywords: armed conflict; international humanitarian law



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