This chapter presents state responsibility for violations of the law of armed conflict as being in a state of flux. The author argues that whilst such responsibility is acknowledged and has been for a long time, it is the means of enforcing that responsibility that is at issue. The traditional view that this is a matter of inter-state relations and that individuals have no rights of their own to pursue claims is under challenge. Whilst the International Court of Justice appears to have upheld that particular view of state sovereignty, that is being increasingly bypassed in recent times by the use of human rights mechanisms to obtain individual redress. However, human rights law and the law of armed conflict are not the same and the use of such fora is placing strains on the relationship between the two branches of public international law. The author concludes that until such time as there is a mechanism whereby individual claims arising from allegations of violations of the law of armed conflict can be litigated as such, human rights courts will continue to fill this function.
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