Theoretical aspects of inclusion of non-state actors into the scope of international humanitarian law

  •  I. V. Voroshylova PhD in Law (International Law), Senior Research Fellow, Associate Professor of the Chair of International Relations and International Law, Faculty of Law and International Relations, Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3271-6719
Keywords: international humanitarian law, armed conflict, international armed conflict, non-international armed conflict, asymmetric conflict, non-state actors.

Abstract

The purpose of the article is to briefly study and analyze the current state of implementation of the provisions of international humanitarian law during conflicts with the signs of asymmetry; factors and processes that affect the international legal status of non-state actors and the possibility of their inclusion into the scope of international humanitarian law.

Scientific novelty of the work is to analyze the theoretical aspects of the international legal status of non-state parties to conflicts, which can be used for further research in the field, as well as for the development of mechanisms to combine elements of national and international law to resolve non-international armed conflicts.

Conclusions. Thus, the article addresses the question of how non-state actors in armed conflict may be bound by international humanitarian law, as well as the question of whether the conduct of such non-state actors is sufficiently covered by international humanitarian law in its current form. The first issue concerns the lack of legitimacy from international law vis-à-vis non-state actors. This is a problem that covers to the whole spectrum of international law. The only solution to this problem seems to be to ensure that, as far as possible, the non-governmental actor agrees to assume the obligations set out by international humanitarian law for the parties to the conflict.

The second issue concerns the field of international law in relation to non-state actors. This means that many acts of violence by non-state actors, including terrorism, are not regulated by international humanitarian law. Although it does not mean that these actions are not regulated by law. On the contrary, the whole set of criminal law of the state may cover their actions, while human rights law guarantees that the coercive actions of the state remain within reasonable limits. However, in some theaters, terrorist acts and massive anti-terrorist operations can lead to armed conflicts, such as asymmetric wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. In this case, the restrictions imposed by international humanitarian law are sometimes seen by the state as a unilateral mechanism to restrict its freedom to achieve its legitimate goals. However, a number of researchers point out that, according to international humanitarian law in its current form, non-state actors still enjoy very limited protection. If the limit of armed conflict is reached, any civilian (non-state actor) who takes up arms against the government becomes a legitimate target, which means that any peacetime criminal justice process can be circumvented.

On the other hand, the lack of will of non-state actors to recognize international humanitarian law is due primarily to the lack of tools for such recognition. At the same time, it limits the activities of such actors. However, from the point of view of the state there are doubts as to whether such recognition will be a kind of indicator of recognition of the actor, putting it on a map. Therefore, the considered aspects once again point to gaps in the norms of international humanitarian law and the obsolescence of the practices used, which do not cover the whole spectrum of modern conflicts.

References

1. Georges Abi-Saab, Eric Berman, Claude Bruderlein. Transnationality, War and Law : Report on a Roundtable on the Transformation of Warfare, International Law, and the Role of Transnational Armed Groups. Harvard University, April 2006. URL: https://hhi.harvard.edu/publications/transnationality-war-and-law-roundtable-report (Дата звернення: 24.10.2021).
2. Додатковий протокол до Женевських конвенцій від 12 серпня 1949 року, що стосується захисту жертв збройних конфліктів неміжнародного характеру (Протокол II), від 8 червня 1977 року. URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/995_200#Text (Дата звернення 30.10.2021).
3. Ryngaert Cf. Imposing International Duties on non-State Actors and the Legitimacy of International Law. Ashgate, 2010. URL: https://ghum.kuleuven.be/ggs/research/non_state_actors/publications/ryngaert.pdf (Дата звернення: 01.11.2021).
4. Віденська конвенція про право міжнародних договорів від 1969 року. URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/995_118#Text (Дата звернення: 01.11.2021).
5. Сучасні проблеми міжнародного права. Liber Amicorum до 60-річчя проф. М.В. Буроменського : моногр. / авт. кол.; за ред. В. М. Репецького та В. В. Гутника. Львів; Одеса : Фенікс, 2017. URL: https://intrel.lnu.edu.ua/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/%D0%9C_%D0%92_%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%84%D1%96%D1%8F.pdf (Дата звернення 07.11.2021).
6. Додатковий протокол до Женевських конвенцій від 12 серпня 1949 року, що стосується захисту жертв міжнародних збройних конфліктів (Протокол I), від 8 червня 1977 року. URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/995_199#Text (Дата звернення: 10.11.2021).
7. Michael N. Schmitt Direct Participation in Hostilities and 21st Century Armed Conflict. URL: https://www.uio.no/studier/emner/jus/humanrights/HUMR5503/h09/undervisningsmateriale/schmitt_direct_participation_in_hostilties.pdf (Дата звернення: 12.11.2021).
8. Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Rules of Engagement: Protecting Civilians Through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors, October 2011. URL: http://www.genevaacademy.ch/docs/publications/Policy%20studies/Rules-of-Engagement-EN.pdf 5-6 (Дата звернення: 12.11.2021).
9. Kelley M. Challenges to Compliance with International Humanitarian Law in the Context of Contemporary Warfare. Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection, 2017. URL: https://digitalcollections.sit.edu/isp_collection/1618 (Дата звернення: 15.11.2021).

References:
1. Abi-Saab, Georges, Berman, Eric, Bruderlein, Claude. (2006). Transnationality, War and Law : Report on a Roundtable on the Transformation of Warfare, International Law, and the Role of Transnational Armed Groups. Harvard University, April 2006. URL: https://hhi.harvard.edu/publications/transnationality-war-and-law-roundtable-report (Last accessed: 24.10.2021).
2. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), of 8 June 1977. URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/995_200#Text (Last accessed: 30.10.2021) [in Ukrainian].
3. Ryngaert, Cf. (2010). Imposing International Duties on non-State Actors and the Legitimacy of International Law. URL: https://ghum.kuleuven.be/ggs/research/non_state_actors/publications/ryngaert.pdf (Last accessed: 01.11.2021).
4. Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969. URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/995_118#Text (Last accessed: 01.11.2021) [in Ukrainian].
5. Suchasny problemy mizhnarodnoho prava. Liber Amicorum do 60-richchia prof. M.V.Buromeskoho. (2017) / avt. col.; za red. V. M. Repetskoho ta V. V. Hutnyka. Lviv; Odesa : Fenix. URL: https://intrel.lnu.edu.ua/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/%D0%9C_%D0%92_%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%84%D1%96%D1%8F.pdf (Last accessed: 07.11.2021) [in Ukrainian].
6. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), of 8 June 1977. URL: https://zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/995_199#Text (Last accessed: 10.11.2021) [in Ukrainian].
7. Michael, N. Schmitt Direct Participation in Hostilities and 21st Century Armed Conflict. URL: https://www.uio.no/studier/emner/jus/humanrights/HUMR5503/h09/undervisningsmateriale/schmitt_direct_participation_in_hostilties.pdf (Last accessed: 12.11.2021).
8. Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Rules of Engagement. (2011). Protecting Civilians Through Dialogue with Armed Non-State Actors. URL: http://www.genevaacademy.ch/docs/publications/Policy%20studies/Rules-of-Engagement-EN.pdf 5-6 (Last accessed: 13.11.2021).
9. Kelley, M. (2017). Challenges to Compliance with International Humanitarian Law in the Context of Contemporary Warfare. Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. URL: https://digitalcollections.sit.edu/isp_collection/1618 (Last accessed: 15.11.2021).

Abstract views: 55
PDF Downloads: 29
Published
2021-12-29
How to Cite
Voroshylova,  I. V. (2021). Theoretical aspects of inclusion of non-state actors into the scope of international humanitarian law . Scientific Papers of the Legislation Institute of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, (6), 23-29. https://doi.org/10.32886/instzak.2021.06.03