Does demonstrating that there is, in factual terms, an armed conflict always mean demonstrating the use of violence? And if so, what level of violence? What kind of violence? And what are the criteria for demonstrating that the threshold level of violence has been reached? Violence - the use of physical force against people and property - is at the heart of most people's concept of armed conflict. That is certainly the case for disciplines outside the legal world. The Uppsala Conflict Data Programme in Sweden which tracks ongoing armed conflicts uses a definition based on at least 25 battle-related deaths a year. That gives a figure of 27 internal, one international and nine so-called internationalised conflicts for 2011. But determining the relationship between levels of violence and the threshold of the legal concept of armed conflict is much more problematic.
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