The ICRC and the clarification of customary international humanitarian law
Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Els Debuf
Reexamining customary international law
New York : Cambridge University Press, 2017
A major contribution to the systematic identification of rules of customary humanitarian law was made by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a groundbreaking and far-ranging study published in 2005 and supplemented by an online database that has been updated continually since then. One of the principal authors of this study, Jean-Marie Henckaerts, and his former colleague Els Debuf, who headed the ICRC's continuing project on customary international humanitarian law from 2011 to 2014, examine the relevance of this body of law today. They evaluate the impact of the ICRC's study on the actual recognition and application of customary humanitarian law by courts and other relevant decision makers, explore various problematic issues of methodology that the ICRC had to confront, and use these issues as a springboard for undertaking a broader assessment of the theory and practice of customary international humanitarian law.
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