Enforcing conventional humanitarian law for environmental damage during internal armed conflict
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The Georgetown environmental law review, Vol. 29, issue 3, Spring 2017, p. 435-479
This article aims to explore possibilities of individual criminal responsibility as a means of enforcement of conventional humanitarian law for environmental damage during internal armed conflict. Part I examines the existing treaty regimes for the legal protection of the environment in internal armed conflict with reference to Protocol II of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and arms control regulations. Part II discusses the viability of the penal repression of violations of international humanitarian law for environmental wrongs as means of enforcement in view of the far-reaching implications of the Tadic decision of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. In conclusion, this article argues that, although penal sanctions against the most egregious environmental damages remain the only viable means of enforcement, effectiveness ultimately depends on strengthening the substantive body of law regarding internal armed conflict, complementary to a wider scheme of proposals and strategies to develop and enhance the existing normative legal framework for protection of the environment through the unification of international humanitarian law.