INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW and THE IRAQ CRISIS. SUSAN SOUX April 2003. International Humanitarian Law ?.
the RULES which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict,protect people who are not, or are no longer taking part in the hostilities, and to restrict the methods and means of warfare employed
‘the law of Geneva is designed to safeguard military personnel who are no longer taking part in the fighting and people not actively involved in hostilities’
‘the law of The Hague establishes the rights and obligations of belligerents in the conduct of military operations, and limits the means of harming the enemy’
the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, plus its two protocols; the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; the 1980 Conventional Weapons Convention and its four protocols; the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention; the 1997 Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel mines; the 2000 Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
Many provisions of international humanitarian law are now accepted as customary law – that is, as general rules by which all States are bound.
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and
Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded,
Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva,
12 August 1949.
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva,
12 August 1949.
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.
Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Iraq ratified Geneva Conventions 1956
US ratified in 1955
Neither Iraq nor the US have ratified the Protocols
… Universal Jurisdiction …
‘War Crimes’ ‘Crimes Against Humanity’
Protectors of the Geneva Conventions
‘impartial, neutral and independent
from any political objective’
ICRC - in battle areas
IFRC and Red Crescent Societies – outside the battle
-Kofi AnnanUN Secretary-General