The International Committee of the Red Cross' "Interpretative guidance on the notion of direct participation in hostilities" : see a little light
Humanizing the laws of war : the Red Cross and the development of international humanitarian law
Cambridge [etc.] : Cambridge University Press, 2017
The most recent contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to the debate on international humanitarian law (IHL) is the interpretative guidance on direct participation in hostilities. The Guidance has been considerably criticized and this chapter sets out to investigate and appraise some of those critiques and link them to broader debates about interpretation (and interpreters) of IHL. The chapter looks at three principles from the Guidance on the concept of civilians and combatants in armed conflicts and the level of force that may be used against the latter. It also discusses principle III which relates to the status of private military and security companies and their employees. The chapter concludes that although it is not beyond critique, the Guidance represents an important contribution to the development of IHL. Such developments are not solely, if they ever were, the remit of States, or more narrowly, the military representatives of those States. The Guidance is already having an impact in practice, and the more practice that accumulates that conforms with the Guidance, the more difficult it may be to deny its normative status.
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