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Perspectives of International Humanitarian Law

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From Cold War to Cyber War
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Abstract

To deal with the perspectives of law requires above all to deal with the perspectives of the reality which the law in question is supposed to regulate. Thus dealing with the perspectives of international humanitarian law demands to assess the factual situations in which this law has to be applied in times to be expected. The first part of the following considerations will, therefore, concentrate on the categories of armed conflicts with which mankind will unfortunately be confronted in near and further future. The second part of these deliberations will be aimed at some of the basic problems that the application of international humanitarian law will meet in the majority of future armed conflicts. A brief conclusion will be devoted to a careful personal assessment of these perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Knut Ipsen, em. Professor, former Rector of the Ruhr-University Bochum, former President of the German Red Cross

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Charter of the United Nations, Preamble.

  2. 2.

    Id., art. 2 para. 4.

  3. 3.

    Id., art. 4 para. 1.

  4. 4.

    See among others, D. Smith, The State of War and Peace Atlas, 3rd ed., Oslo/London 1997.

  5. 5.

    Y. Sandoz et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 149, Geneva 1987, p. XXXI.

  6. 6.

    The following findings are based on the experience of the author as a Member and Legal Adviser of the Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany at the Diplomatic Conference.

  7. 7.

    J.-M. Henckaerts et al. (eds.), Customary International Humanitarian Law, Vol. I, Rules, Cambridge 2005.

  8. 8.

    G. Mascolo, Maschinenkrieg, Der Spiegel, 8 April 2013, p. 31.

  9. 9.

    W. Heintschel von Heinegg/P. Dreist, The 2009 Kunduz Air Attack: The Decision of the Federal Prosecutor-General on the Dismissal of Criminal Proceedings Against Members of the German Armed Forces, in: T. Giegerich/A. Proelß (eds.), German Yearbook of International Law 53, Berlin 2011, pp. 833 (843).

  10. 10.

    See ibid.

  11. 11.

    For text see the link quoted by id., at p. 833 fn. 1.

  12. 12.

    See id., p. 845 fn. 18.

  13. 13.

    See J.-M. Henckaerts et al. (eds.), supra note 7, pp. 4, 10, 28.

  14. 14.

    See especially C. J. Dunlap, Jr., Do We Need New Regulations in International Humanitarian Law? One American’s Perspective, in: Journal of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict 25 (2012), p. 120; for a critical position see K. Ziolkowski, “Lawfare” – die Theorie von der Fortsetzung des Krieges mit “rechtlichen Mitteln”, in: Journal of International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict 23 (2010), p. 112.

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Ipsen, K. (2016). Perspectives of International Humanitarian Law. In: Heintze, HJ., Thielbörger, P. (eds) From Cold War to Cyber War. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-19087-7_2

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