Whose armed conflict ? : which law of armed conflict ?
Host item entries:
Georgia journal of international and comparative law, Vol. 45, no. 3, Spring 2017, p. 475-493
Adil Ahmad Haque
When does an armed conflict begin? When does the law of armed conflict apply? It depends. There are two kinds of armed conflict and two laws of armed conflict: international armed conflicts (IACs) between states and non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) between states and organized armed groups or between such groups. This distinction matters because the law of IAC differs from the law of NIAC in certain important respects. Is the United States in an IAC with Syria, a NIAC with Daesh, or both? These are the types of questions this short article addresses. Its point of departure is the much-discussed 2016 Commentary on the First Geneva Convention recently released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This is as it should be, since the modern distinction between IAC and NIAC largely originates with Common Articles 2 and 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.