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Material Contextual Elements

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Chapter Summary

Among the material contextual elements, one can distinguish between the elements concerning the relationship between the forbidden behavior and the armed conflict in which it takes place and those elements relating to the protected status of the person or object subject to the forbidden behavior. The material contextual elements include numerous normative elements, such as the existence of a crisis situation which can be legally qualified as an armed conflict or the protected status granted by international humanitarian law to the persons or objects subject to the forbidden conduct. The international or non-international character of the armed conflict in which the forbidden behavior takes place constitutes an additional contextual element whose legal nature is not completely clear. The notion of armed conflict is the true cornerstone of international humanitarian law because it sets forth the boundaries of its scope of application.

Keywords: armed conflict; forbidden behaviour; international humanitarian law; material contextual elements



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