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Hostilities in occupied territory, protected persons, and participants in hostilities

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Chapter Summary

This chapter delineates the boundaries between civilians entitled to immunity from attacks and those who lose such immunity in an occupied territory. The threshold for applying the law on conduct of hostilities depends on whether an occupying power has lost the capacity to mount effective lawand- order operations. The chapter discusses the category of persons who are immune from direct attack during the conduct of hostilities which occur in occupied territory. It presents the definition of protected persons within the meaning of Article 4 Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV) and that of civilians under API. Having identified the category of unprivileged belligerents (or unlawful combatants) operating in occupied territory, the chapter explores the nature of this controversial category of persons in the specific context of occupation. The concept of direct participation in hostilities should be considered applicable both to international armed conflict (IAC) and to non-international armed conflict (NIAC).

Keywords: combatants; direct participation; Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV); hostilities; international armed conflict (IAC); non-international armed conflict (NIAC); occupied territory; protected persons; unprivileged belligerents



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