Returning the ‘Fallen Terrorist’ for Burial in Non-international Armed Conflicts

The Rights of the Deceased, the Obligations of the State, and the Problem of Collective Punishment

In: Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

Although the regime applicable to the return of remains of combatants in international armed conflict is well known, the regime applicable in non-international armed conflicts is less clear. This is particularly the case when the members of armed groups are deemed to be ‘terrorists’ by the State which then refuses to return them to their families. The article examines how a Russian law to that effect has been examined and found wanting by the European Court of Human Rights. It suggests that the return of remains following non-international armed conflicts raises characteristic issues for the debate on the simultaneous and competing applicability of international humanitarian and international human rights law.