Islamic law, international law, and non-international armed conflict in Syria
Patrick B. Grant
Host item entries:
Boston university international law journal, Vol. 35, issue 1, spring 2017, p. 1-37
Although the law governing non-international armed conflicts (“NIAC”) has expanded, it may not always be enough to address the atrocities associated with such conflicts. Islamic law may serve as common ground for parties to a NIAC to apply greater protections than those provided by international law alone. Applying Islamic and international law to the Syrian conflict demonstrates that the doctrines have different triggering thresholds and varying degrees of similar protections. The doctrines are compatible, however, because use of one doctrine does not preclude use of the other. Islamic law can therefore supplement international law among states that have diverse acceptance of international treaties. It is also a viable option for Islamic law to supplement international law because most Muslim states are either influenced by or directly apply Islamic law. Theses states’ desire to either apply or accept Islamic law evidences probable concurrence to agreements that use Islamic law to supplement international law to provide greater protections in a NIAC.