Destruction of environment during an armed conflict and violation of international law : a legal analysis
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Asian yearbook of international law, Vol. 15, 2009, p. 145-188
This Article examines, in light of the recent events (Case studies) and commentary, current legal protections for the environment during an armed conflict such as Article 35(3) and Article 55 of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, 1977 or the Convention on the Prohibition of Environmental Modification (ENMOD) Techniques etc., which prohibits environmental destruction during war. After outlining existing rules and exploring some of the criticisms levelled against their effectiveness, this Article considers potential consequences arising from possible violations of these provisions. Finally, it proposes how current rules can be modified and calls for a new law to provide more effective protection of the environment during times of armed conflict. Indeed, it concludes that the strongest protections are contained in the non-environment-specific provisions of the laws of armed conflict.