A la guerre comme à la guerre : patterns of armed conflict over time and how the law responded to them
Luc Reydams and Jan Wouters
Armed conflicts and the law
Cambridge [etc.] : Intersentia, 2016
International humanitarian law (IHL), like most law, tends to develop in response to events. Tracing the general principles of IHL - military necessity, humanity, proportionality and distinction - to particular events is impossible. Such is not the case, however, with specific prohibitions or obligations stemming therefrom. This chapter sets out to identify specific historic events, all of which have had a decisive impact upon the development of modern treaty-based IHL. Historically, IHL has been substantially revised every twenty-five to thirty years by significant and new multilateral treaties. Explaining the historical context of these treaties and the rationale behind them is the principal goal of this chapter.