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Scope Of Application, Perpetrators Of Terror, And International Humanitarian Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the phenomenon of transnational terrorism from the specific angle of parties to an armed conflict in terms of the law of war or international humanitarian law, as it is known today. The chapter outlines the search for a comprehensive definition of terrorism and compares it with the dispositions in humanitarian law. It considers what transpires from the negotiations on a draft comprehensive convention on terrorism, and the likelihood of a scope of application narrower than humanitarian law. The chapter also examines the scope of application of humanitarian law in relation to this so-called global war on terror, in light of the important ruling by the US Supreme Court in the case of Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld on 29 June 2006 that the threshold of international humanitarian law should be lowered, a ruling based on a broad interpretation of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions.

Keywords: armed conflict; Geneva Conventions; global war on terror; Hamdan; international humanitarian law; terrorism; US Supreme Court



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