The Law of Internal Armed Conflict

By Lindsay Moir | Go to book overview

3
Additional Protocol II of 1977

Common Article 3 stood alone in the sphere of internal armed conflict for twenty-five years, but, as demonstrated, it had become evident that some amendment or clarification of the rules governing internal conflicts was necessary, since:

When put to the test… the rules of protection in [common] Article 3 had been shown to require elaboration and completion. Government and Red Cross experts consulted by the ICRC since 1971 had confirmed the urgent need to strengthen the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts by developing international humanitarian law applicable in such situations.1

The decision was therefore made to improve the law, and following several conferences of Governmental Experts and ICRC representatives, two Additional Protocols were drafted and placed before the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, held in Geneva from 1974 to 1977.2

Although this book is concerned with internal conflict, and so with Protocol II (the 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Noninternational Armed Conflicts3), Additional Protocol I is still of relevance. The first session of the Diplomatic Conference achieved the inclusion in Protocol I of Article 1(4), which extends the provisions of the instrument beyond international armed conflicts, to include 'armed conflicts

____________________
1
Mrs Bujard (ICRC) in Official Records of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, Geneva (1974–1977) (Berne, 1978) CDDH/I/SR.22; VIII, 201 at 201 (hereinafter citations from this work are by the document reference therein).
2
For the text of the Draft Protocols see Official Records, vol. I, part 3.
3
UN Doc. A/32/144 (1977); 16 ILM 1391 (1977).

-89-

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