The African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and the use of provisional measures for the protection of the civilian population in armed conflict situations
The protection of non-combatants during armed conflict and safeguarding the rights of victims in post-conflict society : essays in honour of the life and work of Joakim Dungel
Leiden ; Boston : Brill Nijhoff, 
In this chapter Frédéric Bostedt discusses the efforts of the African Court on Human and People's Rights in 2011 to protect Libyan persons demonstrating against the regime of Colonel Muamar Gadaffi. Holding that there existed a situation of extreme gravity and urgency, the African Court issued a provisional measure ordering Libya to stop these actions. Bostedt utilises this case as a starting point to analyse how and under what circumstances provisional measures by human rights courts can be used to protect civilians in the case of an armed conflict or similar emergency situations. He posits that human rights courts have generally developed an adequate procedure to quickly react to a situation and order provisional measures. The substantive requirements for ordering provisional measures do not appear to be high hurdles in a situation of armed conflict, and the requirements of gravity, urgency, and irreparable harm may even be presumed to exist in such situations. Although the scope of provisional measures makes them a suitable tool to protect civilians in armed conflict situations, their binding nature is no guarantee for compliance. The implementation of a provisional measure depends on the state concerned, and the political pressure by supervisory bodies is the only means available for compelling a state to comply.
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