The contributor critically reviews the opinions he had expressed years ago, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Emphasizing the need for strict compliance with international humanitarian law, human rights law, national constitutional law and rules of due process, in order to convincingly meet the challenge terrorism poses to democratic societies, he had called for a culture of compliance in which incentives for faithful implementation of humanitarian law should be developed to make the expectation of reciprocity a realistic possibility rather than contemplating restraints of humanitarian protection and derogations of human rights. Developments went in a different direction: the world has witnessed an unlimited practice of operational detentions; habeas corpus was, and still is, denied in military operations; and prisoners have been tortured as part of deliberately planned activities. At the same time organized terrorist movements continue to plan and execute attacks while hiding among civilian populations; the number of suicide attacks has increased rather than decreased; and distinctive emblems protected under the Geneva Conventions are deliberately targeted by Taliban fighters. He focuses on the jus in bello, starting with the applicability threshold of the principles and rules of international humanitarian law and their relevance in a wider sense then addresses differences and similarities in the legal paradigms of law enforcement and the conduct of hostilities, discusses their effects on peacebuilding and consider the role of civil society in implementing relevant legal obligations. He concludes by stressing the need to concentrate on jus post bellum and to develop the proper structure, contents and implementation mechanisms of this evolving branch of international law.
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