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STRENGTHENING COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW: THE FAILED PROPOSAL FOR A “MEETING OF STATES ON INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW”

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Within current debates on international humanitarian law (IHL) attempts to strengthen compliance are a key issue. Several existing mechanisms provided by IHL treaties have proved to be unsuccessful, mainly due to States’ unwillingness to activate them and to their limited field of application, that is, such mechanisms are principally restricted to international armed conflicts. Conversely, instruments pertaining to other branches of international law have progressively come to play a significant role in this area, emphasizing a series of challenges and opportunities. Against this background this contribution explores attempts to identify further options, such as the proposal submitted to the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent held in December 2015. Its aim was to facilitate the creation of a new compliance mechanism for IHL, the so-called “Meeting of States on International Humanitarian Law”: a regular, voluntary, yet institutionalized forum for dialogue on IHL among States Parties to the Geneva Conventions, to be provided with a series of functions intended to improve the implementation of IHL. However, due to disagreements among States during the Conference, delegations were ultimately unable to reach a consensus on this new mechanism, thus emphasizing serious difficulties in bringing about effective improvements with regard to IHL compliance mechanisms.

10.1163/22116133-90000113
/content/journals/10.1163/22116133-90000113
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/content/journals/10.1163/22116133-90000113
2016-10-18
2016-12-08

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