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The Application of International Human Rights Law in Non-International Armed Conflicts

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From Rhetoric to Action

Since the end of the Cold War, the world has experienced a decrease in international conflict and a significant increase in non-international armed conflict (niac). Despite this change, however, international law has been very slow in adapting its laws that initially were crafted with international armed conflict in mind to the new niac environment. There is a growing recognition that international humanitarian law (ihl) is not well equipped to deal with issues of human rights violations committed during niac. New efforts to make international human rights law (ihrl) applicable in such conflicts have, however, raised more questions than answers. There is still no consensus on whether international human rights law applies to niac. Furthermore, the question on whether non-international armed groups are bound by international human rights obligations remains controversial. This article tries to analyze where international law stands now of these questions. It proposes steps international law could follow to move from its current rhetoric to a more practical solution on these questions. The three solutions proposed are: individual agreements to respect human rights during armed conflict, the possibility of an icj advisory opinion and the option of a protocol additional to international human rights treaties relating to their application in niac.

Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor of Law, The Claude W. Pettit College of Law, Ohio Northern University, j-kamatali@onu.edu

10.1163/18781527-00402002
/content/journals/10.1163/18781527-00402002
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/content/journals/10.1163/18781527-00402002
2013-09-24
2017-11-22

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