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IHL and Human Rights law: relationship

Byron, Christine ORCID: 2018. IHL and Human Rights law: relationship. Szabó, Marcel, Láncos, Petra Lea and Varga, Reka, eds. The Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Vol. 5. The Hague: Eleven International Publishing, pp. 411-424.

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We need to start by asking ourselves why the relationship between International Humanitarian (IHL) and Human Rights (HR) law matters. Partly this is because these two areas of law overlap and deal with the same subject matter to some extent and partly it is because issues of human rights in times of conflict are being dealt with by human rights bodies. Although many reasons have been suggested for this development, from people becoming more litigious, to encouragement from lawyers in countries at war, Henkaerts suggests that this “trend is largely due to victim’s search for a forum in order to obtain remedies for violations of their rights during armed conflict”. This is essentially because of a lack of individual petition in IHL. Therefore, as a result of the overlapping subject matter and the fact that human rights bodies are having to deal with this issue it is important to deal with the relationship between the two areas of international law. First, the article will look at the similarities between IHL and HR, demonstrating the similarities of subject matter, then the differences between the two, which starts to explain the tension between the two areas of international law, despite the impact that the two areas have had on each other. Secondly, the influence that the two fields have had on each other despite their differences will be considered. Thirdly, the lex specialis doctrine of international law will be discussed, including the approach of the ICJ and whether this is really a simple way to deal with the tension between the two areas of law. The article will conclude by considering that the nature of the conflict may make a difference between which of the two areas of law has the greatest influence. Finally, some of the benefits and problems of applying IHL and HR in the same situation will be discussed.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Publisher: Eleven International Publishing
ISBN: 9789462368330
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 23 January 2018
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 16:53

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