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The Implementation of International Humanitarian Law : Current and Inherent Challenges

Published in Yearbook of international humanitarian law. 2007, vol. 10, p. 45-73
Abstract The implementation of humanitarian law (IHL) is confronted to many challenges. Some of them are inherent, because IHL applies to armed conflicts. A situation must be classified before IHL can be applied. Existing implementation mechanisms either do not function. Those which function, such as the ICRC and criminal prosecution, have their limits. In certain conflicts, such as asymmetric conflicts, and with regard to certain players, such as armed groups, it is particularly difficult to obtain respect of IHL. Beyond that, there is a perhaps even more dangerous challenge in perception. The gap between the ever-growing promises of protection by the law made by doctrine, jurisprudence and sometimes even by States, and the systematic non-respect of that law, which (in the author's view wrongly) transpires from the media and NGO reports, undermines the credibility of the law and the willingness to respect it. The author advocates ways to reduce this gap.
Keywords International humanitarian lawImplementationICRCInternational criminal justiceAsymmetric warfareNon-state armed groupsCredibilityPerceptionDroit international humanitaireMise en oeuvreCICRJustice pénale internationaleGuerre asymétriqueGroupe armé non étatiqueCrédibilitéPerception
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SASSÒLI, Marco. The Implementation of International Humanitarian Law : Current and Inherent Challenges. In: Yearbook of international humanitarian law, 2007, vol. 10, p. 45-73. doi: 10.1017/S1389135906000459 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:864

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Deposited on : 2009-02-19

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