International military missions and international law
Leiden ; Boston : M. Nijhoff, 2011
Rules of Engagement (RoE) are directives to operational commanders which delineate the parameters within which force may be used. International law and treaties may not be applicable to the specific situation (during peace operations the Geneva Conventions and Additional Protocols do no apply de-jure) or States may not have signed up to certain treaties, while it is in the interest of the operation to abide by certain rules. In an attempt to address this issue and for the purpose of setting out fundamental principles and rules of international humanitarian law that apply to forces conducting operations under UN command and control, UN Secretary General has issued a Bulletin stating that the fundamental principles and rules of IHL set out in the Bulletin are applicable to UN forces when in situations of armed conflict they are actively engaged therein as combatants, to the extent and for the duration of their engagement. Shortly after its promulgation, the Bulletin triggered questions in the military and legal community on the threshold for the "situation of arme conflict". This chapter analyses why decisions to use force have caused difficulties in the past and why RoE are still perceived as a burden, causing considerable inconvenience for commanders and soldiers during military operations nowadays.
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