The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions comprehensively bans a weapon that causes civilian casualties both during and after attacks. The convention also sets legal precedent in three ways. First, the convention expands the scope of past treaties by, for example, covering munitions that function properly and those that do not. Secondly, it creates groundbreaking humanitarian obligations, most notably those related to victim assistance. Thirdly, it anticipates future concerns by recognizing the threats posed by non-state armed groups. This comparative analysis of the convention shows how it breaks new ground for future weapons treaties and illuminates the process by which international humanitarian law can be advanced.
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