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The Role of Persistent Objection in International Humanitarian Law

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The publication of the ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law encouraged a debate on the role of the doctrine of persistent objection in international humanitarian law. After setting out the background and meaning of this doctrine, this article will use the examples of belligerent reprisals against civilians and the protection of the environment in light of the use of nuclear weapons to show that although persistent objection is relied upon in international humanitarian law, the dictates of the principles of humanity and public conscience mean that it is less accepted and respected than in other areas of international law. This despite the fact that there are no express limitations on the application of this doctrine to international humanitarian law.

Affiliations: 1: The ICC Legal Tools Programme at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, and at the Office of the Norwegian Judge Advocate General; The Norwegian Army as a law lecturer


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