The applicability of the law of armed conflict and human rights law to organised armed groups
Jann K Kleffner
Convergence and conflicts of human rights and international humanitarian law in military operations
Pretoria : Pretoria University Law Press, 2014
This chapter critically analyses different explanations of the binding nature of the law of armed conflict (LoAC) and human rights law (HRL) on organised armed groups (OAGs). After briefly defining the concept of an "organised armed group", the chapter addresses five different explanations. A first such explanation is to construe the binding nature of the LoAC and HRL on OAGs through the state. A second one is to rely on the fact that both bodies of law are binding upon the individual. Thirdly, it is being suggested that LoAC and HRL are binding OAGs because such groups exercise de facto governmental functions. Fourthly, it is argued that OAGs possess (limited) international legal personality which entails that the LoAC and HRL bind them as a matter of customary international law. Finally, the consent of an OAG is offered as the basis for the binding nature of LoAC and HRL.