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Guerrilla and Humanitarian Law: an Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Guerrilla warfare belongs to all times, although it often enters history under a different name: resistance, insurrection, or war of national liberation, are terms which immediately come to mind. The interest of the press and of public opinion with respect to conflict situations mainly focuses on two aspects: the factual course of events, and their political significance. A variation on the theme of unlawful aggression may be the thesis that humanitarian law itself, in contradistinction to its claim, actually enhances inequality between the parties in guerrilla warfare. Humanitarian law distinguishes two types of situations: international and non-international armed conflicts. As far as international armed conflicts are concerned, this body of law has undergone a remarkable development, even to the extent of being perhaps somewhat over-developed in certain areas.

Keywords: guerrilla warfare; humanitarian law; international armed conflicts; national liberation; non-international armed conflicts



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