The 1868 St Petersburg Declaration on explosive projectiles : a reappraisal
Robert Kolb, Momchil Milanov
There is hardly any study on the origins of international humanitarian law (IHL) which does not mention the 1868 St Petersburg Declaration. Yet, apart from a simple reference or a footnote, the actual impact of the Declaration on the formation of the IHL rules remains subject to debate. As fragile and limited as it may seem, the Declaration succeeded in establishing the very basis of IHL: the principle that the means and methods employed in warfare should not be unlimited. The present article is an attempt to see the St. Petersburg Declaration in the context of its time and to summarize the main issues related to its legacy in order to reach an objective conclusion on its influence and importance.
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