The Intricate Relationship between International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law in the European Court for Human Rights Case Law: An Analysis of the Specific Case of Detention in Non-International Armed Conflicts

in The Companion to International Humanitarian Law


The relationship between IHRL and IHL has proven tempestuous and ambiguous, thus allowing bodies responsible for their enforcement to engage in cherry picking. The issue of detention in non-international armed conflicts is not immune from this approach. In order to analyse this specific situation, this paper first aims to clarify the mutual influences between these two fields of law. To do so, the authors explore (1) how IHL bodies use IHRL, and (2) how, in turn, human rights bodies use IHL. With a specific focus on European case law, they (3) underline the problematic use of IHL by the ECtHR in the case of detention in non-international armed conflicts. On this basis, they conclude that maximum protection of detainees remains the judges’ main goal.

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