The development of humanity as a constraint on the conduct of war
Tim McCormack, Siobhain Galea and Daniel Westbury
Host item entries:
The Australian yearbook of international law, Vol. 37 (2019), 2020, p. 22-49
Photocopies. - The Sir Elihu Lauterpacht international law lecture 2018
International humanitarian lawyers often claim that the rules of international humanitarian law, whether the body of rules regulating the conduct of hostilities or the body of rules establishing minimum standards of protection for different categories of victims of armed conflict, are a balancing act between two key overarching principles: humanity and military necessity. This article, drawing on a publication by Sir Elihu Lauterpacht, discusses the development of humanity as a constraint on the conduct of war by looking successively at the emergence of humanity as a constraint on the conduct of war, humanity as a manifestation of "progressive civilization", the prohibition of exploding and expanding bullets, the representations at and outcomes of the International Peace Conferences in the Hague, and the two World Wars and the evolution of attitudes towards the notion of humanity as a constraint. It concludes with an overview of the challenges to the efficacy of the constraining effect of humanity.
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