Master of Philosophy Thesis, Faculty of law, Oxford University, 2010. - Photocopies
To establish what behaviour is permitted to the soldiers and what protection is bestowed upon the victims, one needs to determine the legal nature of the conflict, i.e. whether the conflict is international or non-international. The reality of international relations after 1945 suggests that very few situations of armed violence fall neatly into either of these two categories. With a handful of important exceptions (for example, the clearly international 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war or the 1994 Rwandan civil war), most contemporary conflicts break out in the territory of one State, but gradually come to contain a mélange of international and non-international elements. To paraphrase Clausewitz, the war of our ‘own’ age is the internationalized armed conflict. Conceptually, then, it is important to determine the accumulation of which international elements effectuates the change in the legal qualification of an internal armed conflict. In other words, how does a non-international armed conflict develop into an international armed conflict? That is the principal research question of this study. The study advances and defends a particular understanding of this process of internationalization of armed conflicts. It proposes that international law contemplates several conceptually different modalities of conflict internationalization and devotes a chapter to each of the four main modalities, demonstrating how and when the internationalizing effect comes about.
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