Human rights courts and bodies are increasingly called upon to look outwards, beyond the immediate contours of their constituent instruments and beyond their own jurisprudence. There is a growing call for such bodies to have regard to, interpret and in some cases ‘apply’ a range of other norms of international law beyond international human rights law (IHRL). UN imposed sanctions, the assertion of immunities of the state and state officials and issues of state responsibility are among the contexts in which human rights courts have recently had to grapple with generic international law concepts or rules from areas of law other than IHRL, often with controversial results. This chapter considers the approach of human rights courts and bodies to one such issue of interplay that arises with increasing frequency, namely the application of international humanitarian law (IHL) alongside IHRL in situations of armed conflict.
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