The book is designed to provide an overview of the development, meaning, and nature of international humanitarian law (IHL). It presents a critical review of the protection of the injured, sick and shipwrecked, prisoners of war (POWs) and civilians during times of war, the prevention of forcible transfer of civilians, the four Geneva Conventions from a Third World point of view, the ideals of distinction, proportionality and precaution from the point of view of Islamic law and the issues faced in implementing IHL.
This lucidly written and timely book will greatly benefit anyone interested in the protection of victims of armed conflict.
Notes on editors; Notes on contributors; List of acronyms and abbreviations; Preface; Foreword;
International Legal Protection of Persons Affected by War: Challenges and the Way Forward, Md Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan and Borhan Uddin Khan
1 The Development of the Geneva Conventions, Borhan Uddin Khan and Nazmuzzaman Bhuian
2 The Legal Status and Protection of the Rights of Prisoners of War, Md Jahid Hossain Bhuiyan
3 The Prohibition of Deportation and Forcible Transfer of Civilian Populations in the Fourth Geneva Convention and Beyond, Etienne Henry
4 Combatants Aboard Medical Aircraft Who Fall into the Hands of a Neutral Power – the Scope of Their Liability to Detention Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Yutaka Arai-Takahashi
5 Forced Transfer of Aliens during Armed Conflicts, Pablo Antonio Fernández Sánchez
6 The Geneva Conventions and Non-International Armed Conflicts, Noelle Higgins
7 Four Geneva Conventions of 1949: A Third World View, Srinivas Burra
8 Criminalising Rape and Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts: Evolving Criminality and Culpability from the Geneva Conventions to the Bangladesh International Crimes Trial, M Rafiqul Islam
9 Principles of Distinction, Proportionality and Precautions under the Geneva Conventions: The Perspective of Islamic Law, Mohd Hisham Mohd Kamal
10 Implementation of International Humanitarian Law and the Current Challenges, Borhan Uddin Khan and Nakib Muhammad Nasrullah
11 The Geneva Conventions and Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law, Derek Jinks
The universal protection of human rights remains the core challenge of the United Nations if it is to achieve its mission of a world of peace, development and justice. Yet, at a time of seismic changes in the world, when shocking violations of human rights are taking place world-wide, the UN human rights system is in need of urgent modernization. This book, written by a foremost scholar-practitioner who previously exercised the functions of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, advances a series of ideas to modernize the UN protection system. Among a dozen key proposals are that the UN human rights system should help alleviate the plight of the poorest, pay greater attention to the national protection system of each country, and establish a World Court on Human Rights that can deal with countries which grievously violate human rights. Unlike other texts that have focused on those topics, this book not only provides comprehensive analysis but, crucially, offers practical and workable solutions based on the author's significant expertise and experience. Scholars, practitioners, and students of international human rights will benefit immensely from its analysis, insights, perspectives, and proposals. It is a salutary contribution on the 75th anniversary of the UN (2020).
This paper analyses the overt provision of assistance to opposition groups in the contemporary conflicts in Libya and Syria. Applying an R2P lens to this new and emerging State practice, the paper argues that R2P has served as the inspiration for a re-aligned conceptualisation of the limits of State responses to atrocity crimes, charting a way forward for the international community which is at once sensitive to State sovereignty but also responsive to humanitarian imperatives.
R2P is the international community’s organising principle for responding to mass atrocity crimes. It reflected and contributed to the shift from power towards norms as the pivot on which history turns. The old, discredited and discarded ‘humanitarian intervention’ represents the national interest and power end of the intervention spectrum. R2P is an effort to insert the global justice and normative end and has much better prospects of a convergence of legality and legitimacy in the use of force. It will be easier to prevent unilateral use of force by great powers if their interventionist instincts are moderated by the discipline of multilateral norms. R2P has a secure future because it is demand-driven. On the realism side of the ledger, many leaders rule on the basis of brute force and occasionally will commit atrocities. On the normative side, the better angels of most people in many countries will demand effective and timely action by governments and the UN to halt the atrocities and punish the perpetrators. R2P is the answer to the challenge of global justice being done and being seen to be done, both by states as the primary units of the global order but also by peoples in whom sovereignty ultimately resides. And it does so by reconciling several inherent tensions between competing interests, competing values, and competing interests and values: between the UN Security Council and the General Assembly; between human and national security; between states and the international community; between institutionalised indifference and unilateral intervention; and between the global North and South.
Arguably, more than any other state or interstate actor, German federal authorities, including the German Federal Public Prosecutor General (Generalbundesanwalt,
gba) and German Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt), have been at the forefront of issuing arrest warrants for senior members of the Syrian government suspected of atrocity crimes in the wake of the Arab Spring. This includes German federal authorities making the first arrest of a senior member of the Syrian government in February 2019 for crimes against humanity. This article argues that in relation to core international crimes, Germany’s concept of law reflects one based on a ‘standard’ and international rule of law. Moreover, German federal authorities have demonstrated a willingness to use international humanitarian and criminal law (ichl) in relation to those most responsible for core international crimes. In this way, Germany’s current investigations into alleged crimes against humanity in Syria since 2011 provides for an illuminating case for extending universal jurisdiction, as well as the ‘responsibility to prosecute’ as a legal obligation. It also indicates how a multiplicity of actors – including state and non-state actors – can extend the reach of international criminal law, when the International Criminal Court (icc) cannot act.
The failure of the international community to adequately respond to patterns of discrimination against the ethnic Rohingya minority in Myanmar (Burma) eventually led to a genocide. The so-called “clearance operations” launched by Myanmar’s military in August 2017 tested the resilience of the international community’s commitment to defending human rights and upholding its Responsibility to Protect (R2P) populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Two years later the UN Security Council has still not adopted a single resolution to name the crime committed against the Rohingya, or to hold the perpetrators accountable. Nevertheless, Rohingya survivors and international civil society have continued to campaign for justice under international law, and to advocate for targeted sanctions to be imposed on those responsible for atrocities. Faced with an inert Security Council, some UN member states have adopted inventive diplomatic measures to uphold their responsibility to protect.
This rich and remarkable volume offers an overview of the most important schools, movements and trends which make up the theoretical landscape of contemporary international law, as well as the works of over 500 authors. It moves beyond generalization and examines how the relevant literature deals with the basic issues of the international legal system, such as international obligations, legitimacy, compliance, unity and universality, the rule of law, human rights, use of force and economics. It offers insights into the addressees (the state, international organizations, individuals and other private persons), and the construction of international law, including law-making, the relationship between norms, and interpretation. Moreover, it widens the discourse by addressing old, yet enduring, as well as new concerns about the functioning of the international legal system, and presents views of non-international lawyers and political scientists regarding that system. It is a valuable analysis for researchers, students, and practitioners.
Miliary intervention remains a controversial part of human protection. Indispensable in some circumstances, military intervention confronts significant structural challenges which means that it is used only rarely and has the propensity for causing unintended negative consequences. In this essay, we examine the place of humanitarian intervention within the human protection regime. Focusing on the case of Libya, we argue that the UN Security Council has now accepted that the use force, even against a sovereign state, is a sometimes legitimate response to mass atrocities. But the Libya experience also raised three major challenges – challenges of regime change, accountability, and selectivity – that will have be addressed if military intervention is ever to become a legitimate part of international society’s anti-atrocities arsenal. First, we show how increased international activism after the Cold War helped put downwards pressure on the incidence of mass atrocities worldwide. Second, we explain why armed intervention remained a controversial and rarely employed instrument of human protection. Third, we argue that the UN Security Council’s decision to authorise armed intervention in Libya represented a significant development in the place of armed intervention as a tool of human protection. Finally, we examine the political consequences of the intervention and argue that these will need to be addressed in order to rebuild sufficient trust to allow future considerations of the use of force for humanitarian purposes.