Conflicts Not of an International Character and the Applicable Law

Conflicts Not of an International Character and the Applicable Law


The International humanitarian law (IHL) recognizes two categories of armed conflict: international armed conflict (IAC) and non-international armed conflict (NIAC). A conflict involving two or more states, or conflicts between a state and a recognized liberation struggle is signified in the IAC, whereas a conflict between government armed forces and one or more organized armed groups within a state, is known as NIAC. The IHL is a bulk of law; however, it is not much comprehensive when it comes to NIAC. This article tries to cover some of the important rules for the conduct of hostilities, which can be found in contemporary humanitarian legal regime.

International Armed Conflicts

Article 2 common to the four Geneva Conventions explicitly asserts that the Conventions are applicable to “declared” wars.[2] It further asserts that the Conventions would apply to partial or total occupation of the territory of a state by another state.[3]Finally, the Article asserts the applicability of the Conventions to “armed conflicts” between states.[4]

The term “armed conflict” is wider than “war”. Article 1 of the Kellogg-Briand Pact 1928 prohibited war but not “force short of war”.[5] Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter 1945 widened the scope of this prohibition by putting a general ban not only war but also on the threat or use of force.[6] About the difference in the scope of war and armed conflict, read The ICRC Commentary.[7]

The UN Charter allows the use of force in self-defense as well as when authorized by the UN Security Council.[8] The Geneva Conventions remain applicable to such lawful uses of force.[9]

The First Additional Protocol of 1977 added “recognized liberation struggle” to the category of international armed conflicts.[10] Such a struggle may be started by the people of an occupied territory or by people within a state who want to separate from the parent state. The former is undoubtedly an international conflict, while the latter is deemed non-international by the parent state.[11]

Non-International Armed Conflicts

Now, we will turn to conflicts “not of international character”. The law does not define this term. However, if an armed conflict is there and it is “not of international character”, it is a non-international armed conflict. This negative definition does not prove helpful in many cases, which is why the ICRC and other organizations use many “indicators” to ascertain the existence or non-existence of such a conflict.


1. Indicators of Non-international Armed Conflict

The main problem here is to ascertain when does a simple law and order problem converts into an “armed conflict”. The official authorities generally deny the existence of an armed conflict even if it deploys armed forces and there is a large-scale fighting between these forces and an armed group. However, the ICRC as well as other organizations and states use certain indicators to answer this question objectively. These indicators include, inter alia:

  1. that instead of police and other law enforcing agencies, armed forces come to the forefront and they use military force against the group;
  2. that the resistance group is has established its effective control on a territory and defies the writ of the official government;
  3. that the official government of the state has formally declared war, or acknowledged the status of belligerents for the group, or asked the UN Security Council to take up the issue.[12]


2. State of Belligerency

Sometimes other states feel compelled to recognize the “state of belligerency” in a state, which is fighting an armed group within its boundaries, although other states are prohibited from interfering in civil wars.[13]

The Regulations for Civil War 1900 prepared by the Institute of International Law declare that a warring faction must not be given the status of belligerents unless it fulfill three conditions:

  1. occupation of a piece of land;
  2. establishment of effective control over that territory in defiance of the official government;
  3. organized and well disciplined forces under a responsible command.[14]

We will conclude by quoting the ICRC Commentary on the Geneva Conventions, which summarizes this discussion by asserting that conflicts not of an international character are “in many respects similar to an international war, but take place within the confines of a single country.”[15]

The Law Applicable to Non-International Armed Conflicts

As noted earlier, IHL is applicable to armed conflicts only. Hence, if the problem is deemed a general law and order problem, only domestic law would be applied to it and IHL would be irrelevant. Moreover, international human rights law (IHRL) remains applicable to such situations.

If a crisis worsens to become an armed conflict, some parts of the IHL becomes relevant. Thus, among the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, only article- common Article 3 is valid and applicable to non-international armed conflicts. More relevant and applicable will be the Second Additional Protocols of 1977 if the state facing NIAC has ratified it. [16] Moreover, some of the rules of customary international humanitarian will also be applicable.

Then, there are also some general principles of law which apply to all armed conflicts, be international or non-international. Some details of these principles are given below.


1. Article 3 Common to the Four Geneva Conventions

Common article 3 to the four Geneva Conventions is applicable to the NIAC. Some important rules are discussed in this article. Before adopting AP-II, this was the only article dealing with NIAC. The article asserts that the states parties to the GCs will be bound to apply the provisions of the convention. [17]

This common Article, known as mini convention, has laid down some fundamental principles, which all parties are bound to oblige. [18]

It is mentioned explicitly that the acts listed in this Article “are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever.” The ICRC Commentary on this portion of the Articleis worth reading.[19]

The Article itself explains the prohibited acts and describes it in a list, those acts are the following:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

The Article further lays down the obligation of care for the wounded and sick.[20] The rules prescribed in the above article are binding on states as all the states have signed the Geneva Conventions, so the internal armed conflict is to be regulated by these rules. However, the question arises about the belligerents, whether they are bound by these rules or not when they are not signatories to these conventions?

In this case, there are two main issues, which need to be identified:

  1. It is very necessary and helpful for the belligerents to act upon these rules, as if, they do not obey these rules they will prove themselves that they are cruel and terrorists.
  2. As the belligerents themselves belong to that state, even if they wish to get freedom from that state and establish their own state, they are obliged to obey these conventions to which that state is signatory. However, these treaties bind them until they announce that they are not obliged by that treaty or convention any more.

However, the rules prescribed in Common Article 3, are the rules of customary law and accepted as the general principles of IHL, therefore, to obey these rules are binding on the group of belligerents even if they are not the signatories to the treaty or convention.[21]


2. Customary International Humanitarian Law

The laws of war are very ancient, as it came into being when armed troops started confronting each other during different battles. The human nature is of such type that it accepts the rules and regulations for making his life more comfortable. Most of the nations of the world were trying since time immemorial to make such laws, which can help the humans to minimize the damages to be occurred during these wars. These states were practicing such type of rules for minimizing the effects of the wars and these practices emerged as the customary rules the regulating the conduct of these wars and confrontations. Some of the very basic and essential rules are mentioned here from the study, which the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, carried out for customary international humanitarian law.[22]

Some of the important customary rules are:

  1. Civilian and hors de combat must be treated humanely.[23]
  2. Torture, cruel or inhuman treatment and outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, are prohibited.[24]
  3. Rape and other forms of sexual violence are prohibited.[25]
  4. Enforced disappearance is prohibited.[26]
  5. Arbitrary deprivation of liberty is prohibited.[27]
  6. No one may be convicted or sentenced, except pursuant to a fair trial affording all necessary judicial guarantees.[28]
  7. The convictions and religious practices of civilians and persons hors de combat must be respected.[29]
  8. Mutilation, medical or scientific experiments or any other procedure not indicated by the state of health of the person concerned and not consistent with generally accepted medical standards are prohibited.[30]
  9. Uncompensated or abusive forced labour is prohibited.[31]
  10. The taking of hostage is prohibited.[32]
  11. The use of human shields is prohibited.[33]
  12. Collective punishments are prohibited.[34]


3. Fundamental Guarantees as Mentioned in the First Additional Protocol

The present customary IHL is developed and combined in the shape of rules, the ICRC did that, which are applicable in all types of conflict and these rules do not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, but is applicable to every one during the conflicts. These rules are generally known as the “Fundamental Guarantees” and these are mentioned in Article 75 of the First Additional Protocol. These fundamental guarantees are being derived from the customary rules, so these are binding on all those states who have not yet ratified this Protocol. Most of these guarantees have also been mentioned in Common Article 3, as explained above. It seems pertinent to note that these guarantees are laid down for those “who do not benefit from more favorable treatment under the Conventions or under this Protocol”, the non-state actors in the conflicts not of an international character. Like Common Article 3, this Article also declares that the provisions contained therein shall be applied “as a minimum”.[35]

Some of these guarantees are:

  1. An accused shall guaranteed all necessary rights and means of defense;
  2. A person can be convicted only on the basis of individual criminal responsibility;
  3. Retrospective application of criminal law is prohibited;
  4. An accused is presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law;
  5. Anyone charged with an offence shall have the right to be tried in his presence;
  6. No one shall be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt;
  7. Anyone charged with an offence shall have the right to examine the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him.[36]


4. General Principles of International Humanitarian Law

The general principles of IHL, which are applicable in international armed conflict, are equally applicable in non-international armed conflict. For the sake of example, targeting civilians is prohibited in any case, whether the conflict is internal or international. Similarly, targeting those soldiers who are no longer taking part in hostilities, or those who are hors de combat, or wounded and sick soldiers-to kill them or target them is prohibited in both type of conflicts. It is the case with the principle of individual criminal responsibility. Commander and his sub-ordinates are responsible for their individual acts. A soldier or sub-ordinate cannot argue that he targeted the civilian or civilians, as his commander ordered him to do so. Similarly, a commander would be held responsible for the acts of his sub-ordinates in internal conflicts, as he is responsible in international conflicts. Similar is the case of other fundamental principles of IHL.

Limitation: This principle is stated classically in Article 22 of the Hague Regulations,[37] and is now restated in Article 35(1) of Additional Protocol I, ‘The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited’.[38] This principle rejects the idea of total war: not all means that are useful in achieving the end of winning the war are allowed. It makes clear that limitations may be placed on the means and methods of warfare. Hence, for example, certain weapons, such as poisoned weapons, or weapons causing ‘unnecessary suffering’, are prohibited. This principle dominates the ‘Hague Law’, and can be seen as the bedrock upon which this branch of the law rests.[39]

Military necessity: This principle allows the proportionate use of force to make an enemy submit, but it does not allow you to exterminate the enemy forces. This principle cannot be used as an excuse for inhumane conduct with the enemy. It also does not justify acts prohibited by the LOAC, rather it has been governed by several constraints: like, an attack or action must be intended to help in the military defeat of the enemy, it must be an attack on a military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

Proportionality: Proportionality is a third fundamental principle of the LOAC. All military measures taken by belligerents must be proportionate to the aim they seek to accomplish. Proportionality, in the LOAC context, means that the military advantage obtained by a particular operation must outweigh the damage caused to civilians and civilian objects by that action. When planning an operation, each belligerent must carefully weigh up the importance of the military advantage, alternative means by which the advantage may be achieved and the expected losses on the part of the civilians. The importance of the military advantage and the civilian losses must be put into some form of balance and weighed up one against the other. Hence, for example, if it appears that an excessive number of civilians may be killed by an attack when compared to the relative importance of the advantage looked for, the attack will be prohibited. In such a case, it can be said that this attack would cause disproportionate damage to the civilian population.[40]

Distinction: Parties to a conflict must at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants in order to spare civilian population and property. Neither the civilian population as such nor civilian persons shall be the object of attack Attacks shall be directed solely against military objectives.[41]

Humanity: This principle, which has already been discussed as an important component in the balancing act that underlies IHL, permeates the whole of the so-called ‘Geneva Law’. At base, the principle requires that those who do not take part in the armed conflict, so-called protected persons, should be treated humanely. This principle is most clearly expressed in common Article 3 to Geneva Conventions and Article 4 of the Second Additional Protocol. Moreover, this principle provides the foundation for all of the detailed rules that are contained in the Geneva Conventions, which in effect attempt to apply the requirement of humane treatment to specific contexts and set out the operation of the obligation in more specific terms.[42]

This fundamental principle forbids the infliction of suffering, injury or destruction not actually necessary for legitimate military purposes. This is also applicable to military purposes and choice of weapons – cannot use weapons which cause unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury. This is very important that when a commander applies the principle of proportionality, he must keep the principle of humanity in his mind.[43]

In a nutshell, the principles of limitation, military necessity, proportionality, distinction and humanity are applicable to non-international armed conflicts in the same way as they are applicable to international armed conflicts.


5. The Second Additional Protocol of 1977 

As far as Additional Protocol II is concerned, it deals with the rights of those who are captured during the fighting, wounded and hors de combat combatants and civilians. Some rules regarding the safety of civilian population and cultural heritage are also prescribed in this protocol. This Protocol is generally deemed as an addition and explanation to the Common Article 3 of the GCs. This Protocol has not been signed by many states of the world including Pakistan. However, most of the rules prescribed in this Protocol are those which are already there in customary law, GCs, other treaties and general principles, and these are recognized by the states.

Article 4 (2) of Additional Protocol II, talks about the fundamental guarantees and it declares that the acts mentioned in this Article are prohibited and will remain prohibited at any time and any place whatsoever; these acts can be studied in the Article. [44]

Article 5 of the Protocol talks about those persons whose liberty has been restricted. The rights and duties of such persons are elaborated here in this article.

Article 6 of the Protocol talks about the prosecution and punishments of criminal offences related to the armed conflict.

Part 3 of the Protocol deals with the wounded, sick and shipwrecked. These people should be protected and respected. Article 8 is about the search of such people, meaning thereby that without any kind of delay wounded, sick and shipwrecked should be searched and collected for medical care.[45]

Part 4 is about the protection of civilian population, where civilian population and individual civilians enjoy general protection from military operations. They shall not be made the object of attack. The indispensable objects for the survival of life of civilian population are being protected according to the articles of part 4 of the Protocol. They cannot be pressurized to move from one place to another place. The places of worships and cultural objects are also protected property.[46]


6. Domestic Law of the State

The domestic law of the state is also applicable in internal conflicts. The belligerents and rebels may be tried under the domestic law of the state and they can be punished as well.

This is one of the major problems in making the non-state actors comply with the law of armed conflict. However, as we know, IHRL is also applicable in such conflicts; the state must abide by its obligations under that law.

Three Important Lacunae in the Legal Regime for NIAC

The most serious issue for the legal regime on NIAC is the determination of the state of conflict. Almost invariably, states refuse to acknowledge that there is a conflict within their frontiers. They always call it a ‘law and order’ problem. Moreover, they declare it their internal affair in which they do not allow interference by the international community or organizations.

Another serious issue is how to make the rules of IHL binding on non-state actors, particularly those resistance movements that deny the legitimacy of the very existence of a state? They, generally, do not acknowledge that they are bound by the treaties concluded by the state against which they raise up arms and from which they want to secede.[47]

Yet another important issue is status determination of those who take part in hostilities. In IAC, those who are lawfully entitled to take part in combat are called combatants.[48] As they are allowed to take part in combat, they are given a license to kill and wound the enemy combatants. They cannot be punished for these acts unless they commit a violation of the laws and customs of war. When combatants are captured, they are given the status of Prisoners of War (POWs) who are protected by Geneva Convention III.[49] As opposed to this, those who take part in hostilities in NIAC, they are not given the status of combatants, and when captured they are not given the status of POWs. This is because primarily these people are dealt with under the law of the land. Moreover, under the law of the land, these people are considered criminals and lawbreakers. That is why, non-state actors find little, if any, attraction in complying with the rules of IHL in NIAC.



This article highlights the law which is applicable in NIAC. Although it is not developed as much as the law of conduct for IAC, we can find many rules for governing the conduct in NIAC. This specific portion of International Humanitarian Law is in need of exploration. As compared to the present law on NIAC, Islamic law is much richer and that can be consulted for further development of this law. This would help making non-state actors, comply with the rules.



  1. Ahmad, Muhammad Mushtaq,“IHL and Islamic Law”, The Journal of Law and Society, 36:49, 43-62.
  1. _________________ . “Jihad, Muzahimat aor Baghawat” Gujranwal: Al-Shariah Academy, 2008.
  2. _________________ . “The Scope of Self-defence: A Comparative Study of Islamic and Modern International Law”, Islamic Studies, 49:2, (2010), 155-194.
  3. Clapham, Andrew, Human Rights Obligations of Non-state Actors in Conflict Situations, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 88, No. 863 (September 2006), 491-523.
  4. Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949
  5. Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
  6. Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
  7. Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
  8. Drafting Committee, The Manual on the Law of Non International Armed Conflict with Commentary, International Institute of Humanitarian law, 2006.
  9. Gasser, Hans-Peter, Introduction to International Humanitarian Law, ICRC: 2009.
  10. Henckaerts, Jean-Marie and Doswald-Beck, Louise, Customary International Humanitarian Law, Vol: 1, Rules, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  1. International Committee of the Red Cross, Background Paper on Geneva Conventions and Persons Held by U.S. Forces, ICRC, January 29, 2002.
  1. International Committee of the Red Cross, Improving Compliance with International Humanitarian Law: Background Paper for Informal High-level Expert Meeting on Current Challenges to International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge, June 25-27, 2004).
  2. International Committee of the Red Cross, International Humanitarian Law: Answers to Your Questions (ICRC).
  3. International Committee of the Red Cross, International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts, Reports and Documents, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 89, No. 867, September 2007 , 719-757.
  4. Pictet, Jean (ed.), Commentary on the Geneva Convention III, Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1952.
  5. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.
  6. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), 8 June 1977.
  7. Rowe, Peter, “Freedom Fighters and Rebels: The Rules of Civil Wars”, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 95:3-4 (2002).
  8. Sandoz, Yves et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols, Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1987.
  9. Sassoli, Marco, “Taking Armed Groups Seriously: Ways to improve their compliance with International Humanitarian Law”,International Humanitarian Legal Srudies, 1 (2010), 5-51.
  10. Tabbasum, Sadia, “Combatants not bandits: the status of rebels in Islamic law”, International Review of the Red Cross,93:881 (2011), 121-139.
  11. Tabbasum, Sadia, The Problem of Unlawful Combatants: A Hard Case for International Humanitarian Law, Unpublished LL.M Thesis,  Faculty of Shariah and Law, International Islamic University Islamabad, 2009.
  12. Ur Rahman, Same, The Conduct of Hostilities in NIAC: A Comparative Study of International Humanitarian Law and Islamic Law, Unpublished LL.M Thesis, Faculty of Shariah and Law, International Islamic University Islamabad, 2012.

[1] The author wants to thank his colleague, Arshad Mahmood Yousafzai, Media Officer ICRC Peshawar for revising the text of the article.

[2] Even if one or more parties to the conflict do not acknowledge the state of war. Article 18, Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, 1954.

[3]Article 2, common to the four Geneva Conventions 1949.

[4] Ibid.

[5]Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad, The Scope of Self-defense: A Comparative Study of  Islamic and Modern International Law,Islamic Studies, 49:2, (2010), 155-194.

[6] Ibid.

[7] “The fact remains that thus far, the qualification of a situation as an armed conflict has largely been left to the discretion and the good faith of the parties concerned and to their perceived interest in respecting their treaty obligations. Yet the objective formula accepted in 1949 represent a significant improvement over the previous situation, in that it provides third parties – such as states not involved in the conflict, organs of the United Nations and, in practice, first and foremost the ICRC – with a tool for exerting pressure on the parties to apply the treatise.” Frits Kalshoven, Constraints on the Waging of War: An Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 2001), 39

[8] See Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter (Articles 39-51).

[9] “A state which uses arms to commit a hostile act against another state can always maintain that it is not making war, but merely engaging in a police action, or acting in a legitimate self-defense. The expression “armed conflict” makes such argument less easy. Any difference arising between two states and leading to the intervention of the armed forces is an armed conflict within the meaning of Article 2 [of the Geneva Conventions], even if one of the parties denies the existence of a state of war.” Jean S. Pictet et al (eds.), Commentary on the Geneva Convention IV (Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1958), 20.

[10] “The situations referred to in the preceding paragraph including armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination, and enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.” AP I, Article 1(4).

[11] See for details on the legality of armed liberation struggle: Mushtaq: The Scope of Self-defence: A Comparative Study of Islamic and Modern International Law, Islamic Studies, 49:2, (2010), 155-194.

[12] Jean S. Pictet et all (eds.), Commentary on the Geneva Convention I (Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1952), 49-50

[13] Ibid. Seealso: Yves Sandoz et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols (Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, 1987), 1320-22. For instance, if nationals of a state fall into the hands of a warring faction, it will generally ask the government of that state to take necessary steps for their protection and release. If that warring faction has not occupied a piece of land and is considered an ordinary gang of law breakers foreign states generally do not negotiate with it. However, if the situation is more serious and the group is absolutely out of control of the government, other states may feel compelled for its own interests to hold direct negotiations with that group. Thus, it acknowledges ‘the state of belligerency” in that state.

[14] Article 8, Regulations for Civil War 1900. See for further details: Commentary on the Additional Protocols,1320-22.

[15] Commentary on Geneva Convention IV, 36.

[16] Unlike the Geneva Conventions, many states including Pakistan have not yet ratified the Second Protocol.

[17]“In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:” Art 3, Common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

[18]“(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.” Ibid.

[19] “The value of the provision is not limited to the field dealt with in Article 3, representing as it does, the minimum which must be applied in the least determinate of conflicts, its term must a fortiori be respected in the case of international conflicts proper, when all the provisions of the Conventions are applicable. For “the greater obligation includes the lesser” as one might say.” Commentary to Geneva Convention IV, 38.

[20] Article 3, Common to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949.

[21] Andrew Clapham, Human Rights Obligations of Non-state Actors in Conflict Situations, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 88, No. 863 (September 2006), 491-523.

[22] Foreword by Jacob Kallenger, President of the ICRC for the study on Customary International Humanitarian Law. (Cambridge University Press, 2005).

[23]  International Committee of the Red Cross has collected the customary rules of IHL after a strong effort: Jean-Marie and Louise Doswald-Beck, Customary International Humanitarian Law, Vol: 1, Rules, (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Rule 87, p 306.

[24]  Ibid, Rule 90, p 315.

[25]  Ibid, Rule 93, p 323.

[26]  Ibid, Rule 98, p 340.

[27]Ibid, Rule 99, p 344.

[28]Ibid, Rule 100, p 352.

[29]Ibid, Rule 104, p 375.

[30]Ibid, Rule 92, p 320.

[31] Ibid, Rule 95, p 330.

[32]Ibid, Rule 96, p 334.

[33]Ibid, Rule 97, p 337.

[34]Ibid, Rule 103, p 374.

[35]Art 75, Additional Protocol I, 1977.

[36] Ibid.

[37]For details, see Art 22, Hague Regulations.

[38] For details, see Art 35(1) of AP I.

[39]Hans-Peter Gasser, Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (Haupt: Henery Dunant Institute) 1993.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Ibid.


[43] Ibid.

[44]  “(a) Violence to life, health and physical or mental wellbeing of persons.

(b) Cruel treatment like torture, mutilation, or corporeal punishment.

(c) Collective punishment.

(d) Taking as hostages.

(e) Acts of Terrorism.

(f) Outrages upon personal dignity, rape, enforced prostitution, indecent assault.

(g) Slavery and slave trade.

(h) Pillage.

(i) Threat to commit any of foregoing acts.”  Art 4(2), Additional Protocol II, 1977.

[45] Ibid., Art 5-8.

[46] Ibid., Art 13-17.

[47] Sadia Tabbasum, Combatants not bandits: the status of rebels in Islamic law, International Review of the Red Cross, 93:881 (2011), 121-139.

[48] Tabbasum, Sadia, The Problem of Unlawful Combatants: A Hard Case for International Humanitarian Law, Unpublished LL.M Thesis, Faculty of Shariah and Law, International Islamic University Islamabad, 2009.

[49] Ibid.


Published in the International Journal of Law and Legal Jurisprudence Studies:

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of any organization with which he might be associated.

Sami Ur Rahman

Author: Sami Ur Rahman

The writer is a lawyer from the Islamabad Bar Association and is the Communication Officer at International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peshawar Sub-Delegation, KPK, Pakistan.