The Oxford handbook of international law in armed conflict
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014
This chapter first examines in which circumstances IHL applies to acts of terror or terrorism. It then looks at how acts of terror and terrorism are prohibited forms of warfare in situations of armed conflict, as well as the rules applicable to operations of so-called "counter-terrorism". Subsequently, the issue of how individual criminal responsibility has come to be attached to acts of terrorism and acts of terror under international humanitarian law will be examined. Issues connected to the status, detention, and treatment of terrorist suspects in international humanitarian law will be briefly discussed as well. Overall, the chapter focuses on the so-called "grey areas" of international humanitarian law, where the existing framework and rules of IHL seem to struggle to accommodate contemporary manifestations of armed conflict, particularly when actors, qualified by one of the parties as "terrorists" are involved. The concluding section offers some thoughts on how these areas of uncertainty might be eventually resolved and on how the international community can meet the main challenges in the interpretation and implementation of IHL.