The Iran-Iraq War: The Politics of Aggression

By Farhang Rajaee | Go to book overview

17
The Need for Modification and Development of the Laws Of War in Modern International Law

SAEID MIRZAEE YENGEJEH

Rules and principles relating to laws of war develop on the basis of the conduct of states and combatant forces in time of war, and as a result of their repetition they become binding customs. Many rules and conventional laws of war have been formulated after specific wars and from the experience gained in those wars. For example, the Paris Declaration of 1856 concerning naval warfare was issued after the end of Crimean War.

Aroused by the wounded of the Crimean war, Henry Dunate, a Swiss humanitarian, proposed the formation of an organization that would be trusted by belligerent states and that would protect the wounded of war. The International Red Cross was formed as a result of his initiative and played a major role in the adoption of the Geneva Convention of 1864, which committed the signatory states to care for those wounded in war. The Red Cross also played an important role in formulating and adopting Geneva conventions and protocols. The 1925 Geneva Convention prohibiting the use of chemical weapons was ratified in the wake of the experiences gained from World War I, in which such weapons were used. The 1949 conventions concerning easing the conditions of the wounded and sick, treatment of prisoners of war, and protection of civilians in time of war were formulated after considering the circumstances of World War II. 1

The Iran-Iraq war provides experiences that can be utilized for

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