Establishing direct responsibility of armed opposition groups for violations of international humanitarian law ?
Responsibilities of the non-state actor in armed conflict and the market place : theoretical considerations and empirical findings
Leiden ; Boston : Brill Nijhoff, 2015
This chapter scrutinizes the possibility of establishing a new legal regime which would make it possible to hold armed opposition groups per se directly accountable for violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). The first section analyses the regimes of responsibility of States and of individual criminal responsibility, which are already in place under current international law and which ensure an indirect responsibility of AOGs for violations of IHL. The section shows both the potential and the limits of these regimes concluding that there is indeed an accountability gap. The second section discusses the possibility of establishing a regime of direct responsibility of AOGs for violations of IHL. It asserts that although there is a tendency in favour of such a regime, it has so far been prevented from materialising by various political and legal dilemmas, which remain unresolved and also largely unaddressed. After suggesting possible solutions to these dilemmas, the paper concludes that the creation of the regime of direct responsibility of AOGs for violations of IHL is a complex process, which definitely merits further scrutiny and debate.