Accountability for violations of the law of armed conflict and the question of the efficacy of international criminal law in ameliorating violence in armed conflict
Accountability for violations of international humanitarian law : essays in honour of Tim McCormack
New York ; London : Routledge, 2016
Dale Stephens' chapter examines the significance of the growth of ICL and its superimposition of particularised thresholds for criminal liability over traditional understanding of the law of armed conflict. Stephens argues that while the genre of ICL is rightly heralded as a successful enterprise, there is inevitably something lost in such a manoeuvre. He asks whether the rise of ICL has witnessed the arrival of a more accountable age, or whether the conduct of military operations in times of armed conflict responds more faithfully to tenets of restraint from post-modernist influences, and argues that, while not without significant potential, the emergence of ICL, and the evolving jurisprudence of the various tribunals and courts dealing with military operational matters, has not provided any kind of decisive accountability mechanism for the "normal" conduct of warfare, particularly in the context of targeting. Stephens concludes that although this may be disappointing on one level, on the other it may be an entirely predictable outcome given the social goals of ICL.