Prisoners Dilemma: Ascertaining and Augmenting the Multinational NIAC Detention Regime

In: Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law Online
Author: Yateesh Begoore
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While International Humanitarian Law (IHL) contains a comprehensive framework of rules and procedural protections for detainees in international armed conflicts (IACS), there is a conspicuous absence of such rules and protections for detainees in the case of non-international armed conflicts (NIACS). In fact, as the recent Serdar Mohammad v. Ministry of Defence case pointed out, the rules pertaining to NIACS make no mention of detention authority at all, leading some scholars to conclude that International Human Rights Law (IHRL), and not IHL, governs NIAC detention.

Contrarily, this paper contends that not only does IHL govern (as well as grant authority for) NIAC detentions, the regime’s shortcomings regarding procedural safe-guards and treatment standards may be remedied through the application of the Copenhagen Process Principles – as evolutive interpretation or interpretation based on subsequent agreement – to Common Art. 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

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