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From International Humanitarian Law to International Criminal Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter starts out with some personal reflections of author to illustrate the colossal distance travelled on the path "from international humanitarian law to international criminal law". It then presents selected sources of international humanitarian law, notably, issues of customary law and principles of law, and characterizes the situations as international or internal armed conflict. The creation of a new instrument for the enforcement of international humanitarian law, in the shape of the International Fact-Finding Commission of Article 90, was but small compensation for the loss of the right of reprisal as an instant corrective device. One theatre where endless streams of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law have been committed is Latin America. The armed forces in those countries, by tradition quite separate from the rest of the population, had their own disciplinary and judicial system.

Keywords: armed conflict; customary law; human rights; international criminal law; international humanitarian law; Latin America



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