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The Conventional Weapons Convention:Functions of Underlying Legal Principles

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Chapter Summary

Neither the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects, adopted in Geneva on 10 October 1980, nor the Protocols annexed to it specify in their operative parts the principles on which the prohibitions and restrictions rest. This chapter suggests two questions of interest. One concerns the history of principles relating to the employment of weapons of war, and the other the function of such principles. It discusses some conceivable functions of these principles in debating or determining the permissibility or otherwise of the use of given weapons. Attention is given to the principles' potential as rhetorical means and as yardsticks or guidelines. The chapter concerns the possible application of the principles in a judicial or quasi-judicial procedure against a belligerent party.

Keywords: conventional weapons convention; judicial procedure; legal principles; quasi-judicial procedure



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