Displacement of civilians during armed conflict in the light of the case law of the Eritrea-Ethiopia claims commission
Allehone Mulugeta Abebe
Host item entries:
Leiden journal of international law, Vol. 22, no. 4, 2009, p. 823-851
The awards on liability and damages for violations of international humanitarian law of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission uncover both the extent of state responsibility for unlawful displacement and deportation of civilian population resulting from wrongful actions of belligerents under international law and the availability of remedies for victims of such violations. The Commission reached a number of important decisions based on government-to-government claims brought by Ethiopia and Eritrea for injuries, losses, and damage suffered by individuals and groups uprooted by the war. While these decisions bring to light the potential of international humanitarian law in addressing the plight of the displaced, they also expose the limitations of the tribunal's mandate and its interpretation of existing law. The aim of this essay is to analyse the case law of the Commission in the light of international law applicable to situations of displacement of civilians triggered by international armed conflicts, and evaluate the relevance of the Commission's jurisprudence for the development of the law in the field.