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4 Customary Status of International Humanitarian Law

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Chapter Summary

This chapter dedicates a brief examination to the customary status of the Additional Protocols (AP). This provides a basis for the subsequent assessment of the state practice as well as the relevant opinio juris of the provisions of international humanitarian law, namely articles of AP. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Study of Customary International Humanitarian Law is discussed in comparison to present findings. The examination considers whether the open term medical ethics is possibly specified in customary international humanitarian law. Medical war crimes are criminalized under the International Criminal Code (VStGB) which is applicable in addition to the German Criminal Code. With the VStGB, Germany adapted its legislation to the Rome Statute but, also finally aligned its legislation with Additional Protocol I and integrated rules of international humanitarian law. All medical acts that risk the death of a protected person are prosecutable as war crimes.

Keywords: Additional Protocols (AP); customary international humanitarian law; German Criminal Code; ICRC; Medical war crimes; Rome Statute



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