Reserve forces constitute an important component in most armies and play a crucial role in times of war. Notwithstanding, the legal status of reservists, when mobilized or demobilized, and their possible detention or classification as a military target according to international law has rarely been discussed. It is only in the last case before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Prlić et al., that the Appeals Chamber had to assess whether the opposing party could detain men only because they were mobilized. The aim of this article is to remedy this lacuna, to discuss the status of reservists in international humanitarian law and to analyse the possible legal framework for detaining and targeting — both active and non-active — reservists.
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