Against the background of a significant number of compliance mechanisms that the law of armed conflict (LoAC) provides for, on the one hand, and the fact that violations remain a pervasive feature of contemporary armed conflict, on the other, the present chapter examines five distinct compliance-related clusters. It begins by a reminder of the various existent compliance mechanisms and a plea for an honest, inter-disciplinary stocktaking of their efficacy. This is followed by another plea, namely for contextualizing compliance and compliance mechanisms and for moderating the expectations as to what they can achieve as counterweights to the myriad of factors that are prevalent in armed conflicts and that cause violations of the LoAC. The chapter then proceeds with addressing three particular trends that pose particular challenges in relation to compliance: the prevalence of non-international armed conflicts; that the current discourse about compliance is dominated by a culture of repression rather than prevention; and that compliance is increasingly individualized at the expense of addressing the collective nature of the violence inherent in armed conflict as the context in which violations occur.
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