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Bombardment: From Brussels 1874 to Sarajevo 2003

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Chapter Summary

The nineteen seventies were a period of active lawmaking in the sphere of the international humanitarian law of armed conflict, starting out with expert conferences and ending with the adoption by a diplomatic conference, on 8 June 1977, of two Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The law governing bombardment had barely survived the Second World War and in effect was in need of resuscitation. The ICTY and ICTR have already developed an important body of case-law; quasi-international courts are following suit, and it may be hoped that the International Criminal Court will soon start contributing to the work. Brussels 1874 and The Hague 1899 paid hardly any attention to the situation of the civilian population in a defended place. The exception was the 1907 Convention on naval bombardment, which introduced the notion of military objective and, with that, the idea that other objects could not be targeted.

Keywords: armed conflict; Brussels 1874; Geneva Conventions; Hague 1899; ICTR; ICTY; International Criminal Court; international humanitarian law



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