This article examines how the developments in codification and practice that followed the 1899 Hague Peace Conferencehave molded the present laws applicable to the conduct of armed conflict, and seeks to identify those aspects of the law that are the most in need of further clarification. Using a selective approach,it focuses on the most troubled areas of the law, which in the author’s view are: the issue of the combatant and prisoner-of-war status, the protection of civilian from the effects of hostilities, compliance with IHL, the scope of IHL applicable to non-international armed conflicts and the issue of internationalized internal armed conflicts. For each of these topics, the author examines how codifications of the law have been respected or modified or even reversed in practice, tries to identify the reasons why such modifications or reversals have occurred and analyzes the prospects for further development.
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