The Law of Armed Conflict An Overview

Report
The International
Law of Armed Conflict:
An Overview
Introduction
• Use of Force Law
• Law of Armed Conflict
• Focus in Presentation:
– international armed
conflict
– armed conflict on land
• Purposes:
– unnecessary suffering &
minimum damage
– principles of war
– encourage reciprocity
– obtain intelligence
– maintain discipline
2
Major Sources of Law
• International Agreements
– 1907 Hague Convention IV
– 1949 Geneva Conventions
– 1977 Additional Protocol I
• Customary International Law
• International Human Rights Law?
3
General Principles
•
•
•
•
Military Necessity
Unnecessary Suffering
Distinction
Proportionality
4
Targeting
• Intentionally Attack Only
Military Objectives:
– combatants
– military objects
• Combatants
– armed forces, other groups
fighting with them
– inhabitants repelling
invasion
– civilians for such time as
they take a direct part in
hostilities
5
Targeting Combatants- Exceptions
• Medical & Religious
Personnel
• Surrender
• Prisoner of War
• Wounded & Sick
6
Targeting Military Objects
•
•
•
•
Nature
Location
Purpose
Use
– effectively contribute to
military action
– attack would offer a
definite military advantage
7
Proportionality Rule
• incidental civilian injury
& damage excessive to
the concrete & direct
military advantage
anticipated
8
Precautions in Attack
• do everything feasible to
verify target as a military
objective
• do not attack if in doubt
that civilian object is
used by military
• among several military
objectives of equal
advantage, choose least
dangerous to civilians &
civilian objects
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Ruses & Perfidy
• Ruses are permitted
– but may not violate law of armed
conflict
• Uniforms & Colors
– neutral states
– enemy
– distinctive emblems
• Perfidy prohibited
–
–
–
–
false white flag
feigning wounds or sickness
feigning civilian status
use of neutral uniforms & colors
• Spies
10
Enemy Property
• Public Moveable Property on Battlefield
• Private Property
– damaged or taken only with strict military necessity
– payment to be made when taken
• Pillage Prohibited
• Payment for Combat Damage Not Required
11
Initial Treatment of Captives
• Search for and treat
enemy military
wounded & sick
• Initially treat all captives
as prisoners of war
• Doubt as to prisoner of
war status resolved by
competent tribunal
12
Prisoner of War Status
• regular armed forces
• militia & volunteer units with armed
forces
• militia & other partisans not with
armed forces who:
–
–
–
–
have responsible commander
have uniform or distinctive sign
carry arms openly
follow law of armed conflict
• authorized persons accompanying
armed forces
• merchant marine & civil air crews
• inhabitants resisting invasion
• for AP I states: combatants who carry
arms openly in deployment & combat
13
Captives Not Prisoners of War
• Detained until end of hostilities
• Fairly tried for law of armed
conflict violations
• Treatment: Geneva
Conventions- humanely
• Treatment: AP I- fundamental
humanitarian guarantees
• Full time medical & religious
personnel
• Spies
• Mercenaries
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Prohibited Weapons
General Rules in Customary Law:
• Needless injury or unnecessary suffering
• Indiscriminant
Weapon Prohibited by International Agreement:
– Expanding Small Arms Ammunition
Sudan Air Force AN26 Used as Bomber
Expanding Small Arm Ammunition
15
World War II Japanese Balloon Bomb
Prohibited Weapons
Weapons Prohibited by International Agreement:
– Anti-Personnel Land Mines
– Incendiary Weapons in certain circumstances
– Laser Weapons intended to blind
U.S. M14 Incendiary Hand Grenade
Russian PNM 1 or 2 AP “Dumb” Mine
16
U.S. FASCAM AP “Smart” Mine
Prohibited Weapons
Weapons Prohibited by International Agreement:
– Cluster Munitions
– Explosive Remnants of War
U.S. Sensor Fused Weapon- “Smart” Cluster Munition
Unexploded Ordnance, Some
From Iran-Iraq War
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Prohibited Weapons
Weapons Prohibited by International Agreement:
– Poison
– Chemical Weapons (including Riot Control Agents)
– Biological Weapons
18
Enforcement
• State Duty to Order Compliance &
Enforce Law
• War Crime Defined
• Command Responsibility
19
Enforcement
• Trial by a State
– military courts or tribunals
– civilian courts
• Universal Jurisdiction over Grave Breaches
20
Enforcement
• International Courts
– victorious allied nations
– UN Security Council
– International Criminal
Court
• No Statute of Limitations
21
Conclusion: Law of International Armed
Conflict
• Applies in armed hostilities between:
– state vs. state
– certain international terrorist groups vs. state
• Primary purpose: protect civilians
• Fundamental principles:
– military necessity, unnecessary suffering, distinction,
proportionality
• Provides restrictions on:
– targeting, treatment of detainees & property, and
weapons
• States are obligated to enforce
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