Also included : A Reply to Sandesh Sivakumaran / Gabriella Blum. - A Rejoinder to Gabriella Blum / Sandesh Sivakumaran
The regulation of internal armed conflict by international law has come a long way in a very short space of time. Until the early 1990s, there were a minimum of international law rules applicable to internal armed conflict. Today, the situation has changed almost beyond recognition with a healthy body of international law applicable to internal armed conflict. This change has taken place in three principal ways – through analogy to the law of international armed conflict, through resort to international human rights law, and through the use of international criminal law. Each of these approaches stressed its similarity to internal armed conflict or to international humanitarian law. They proved immensely important, filling in what was a more or less blank canvas. However, there are limits to how far they can take us. Today, the canvas is no longer blank and a step back is needed in order to assess the existing state of affairs. Focusing not on the similarities between international and internal armed conflicts or between the various bodies of international law, but on their differences, will allow us to ascertain what further work is in order. It will allow us to identify gaps in regulation and refine relevant rules. It will also force us to re-think our approach to particular issues. Only in this way will we be able to develop the international law of internal armed conflict further.
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