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IUS Post Bellum and The Imperative to Supersede IHL

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Pablo Kalmanovitz*
Affiliation:
Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia)
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In recent debates about the interplay between international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL), two broad camps have emerged. On the one hand, defenders of what may be called the convergence thesis have emphasized the inclusion of basic rights protections in the so-called “Geneva instruments” of IHL, as well as the role of human rights bodies in interpreting and amplifying rights protections in IHL through juridical or quasi-juridical interpretation and pronouncements. In armed conflicts, it is said, human rights apply concurrently and in ways that strengthen the protective constraints of IHL. Critics of the convergence thesis, on the other hand, have protested that pressing human rights obligations on state forces misunderstands the nature of both IHL and IHRL, and generates misplaced and impossibly onerous demands on belligerents—ultimately and perversely, the effect of emphasizing convergence may be less, not more, human rights protection.

Type
Symposium on the Colombian Peace Talks and International Law
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2016

References

1 For a classic statement and defense of convergence, see Meron, Theodor, The Humanization of Humanitarian Law, 94 AJIL 239 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and for a more nuanced discussion, Watkin, Kenneth, Controlling the Use of Force: A Role for Human Rights Norms in Contemporary Armed Conflict, 98 AJIL 1 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 E.g. Schmitt, Michael, Military Necessity and Humanity in International Humanitarian Law: Preserving the Delicate Balance, 50 VA. J. Int’l L. 795 (2010)Google Scholar; and Modirzadeh, Naz, The Dark Sides of Convergence, 86 U.S. Naval War College Int’l L. Stud. 349 (2010)Google Scholar.

3 See in particular Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, Advisory Opinion, 1996 ICJ Rep. 226, paras. 24-25 (July 8); Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Advisory Opinion, 2004 ICJ Rep. 136, paras. 102-113 (July 9).

4 See generally, Jus Post Bellum : Mapping the Normative Foundations (Carsten Stahn et al. eds., 2014).

5 For these formulations, see Kalshoven, Frits & Zegveld, Liesbeth, Constraints On the Waging of War 829 (4th ed. 2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Trindade, Antonio Cançado, Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos, Derecho Internacional de los Refugiados y Derecho Internacional Humanitario: Aproximaciones y Convergencias, 30 Estudios Internacionales 321 (1997)Google Scholar.

6 Key human rights elements in IHL include of course Common Article 3 protections to life and bodily integrity in those not par ticipating directly in hostilities, as well as categorical proscriptions of torture and cruel treatment, and basic due process guarantees. Additional human rights provisions appear in Additional Protocol I art. 75 and Additional Protocol II arts. 4-6.

7 E.g., C-034/93, C-179/94, C-578/95, C-358/97, Su-1184/01, C-251/02, C-740/13.

8 E.g., C-024/94, C-1024/02, C-251/02.

9 Arturo Ribón Avilán v. Colombia, Case 11.142, Inter-Am. Comm’n H.R., Report No. 26/97, Oea/Ser.L./V/II.98 doc. 6 rev. (1997).

10 Id. at para. 174.

11 For general commentary on IHL in the Inter-American System, see Cardona, Alejandro Aponte, El Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos el Derecho Internactional Humanitario: Una Relacion Problemática, in Sistema Interamericano De Protección De Los Derechos Humanos Y Derecho Penal Internacional 125, (Elsner, Gisela ed., 2010)Google Scholar; Burgorgue-Larsen, Laurence & de Torres, Amaya Ubeda, “War” in the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, 33 Hum. Rts. Q. 148 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

12 See Masacre de Mapiripán v. Colombia, Merits, Reparations and Costs, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 134 (Sept. 15, 2005); Masacre de Santo Domingo v. Colombia, Preliminary Objections, Merits and Reparations, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 259 (Nov. 30, 2012); Operación Génesis v. Colombia, Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 270 (Nov. 20, 2013). On the Court as an enforcer of Ihl, see Aponte Cardona, supra note 11, at 135; Rivas, Juana María Ibánez, El Derecho Internacional Humanitario en la Jurisprudencia de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, 36 Revista De Derecho Del Estado 167, 168 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

13 Masacre de Mapiripán v. Colombia, Merits, Reparations and Costs, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (ser. C) No. 134 (Sept. 15, 2005).

14 Gustavo Gallón Giraldo, La directiva 15 del Ministerio de Defensa, El Espectador (May 12, 2016).

15 David Kennedy, of War and Law 99-164 (2006); Koskenniemi, Martti, The Lady Doth Protest Too Much: Kosovo and the Turn to Ethics in International Law, 65 Mod. L. Rev. 159, 167-171 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Dill, Janina, The American Way of Bombing and International Law, in the American Way of Bombing 131 (Shue, Henry & Evangelista, Matthew eds., 2014)Google Scholar.

16 Arturo Ribón Avilán v. Colombia, Case 11.142, Inter-Am. Comm’n H.R., Report No. 26/97, Oea/Ser.L./V/II.98 doc. 6 rev., para. 168 (1997).

17 In the formulation of Additional Protocol I art. 57.2.a.iii:

those who plan or decide upon an attack shall refrain from deciding to launch any attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

18 Operational Law Manual Ff.Mm 3-41 (1st ed. 2009).

19 Sivakumaran, Sandesh, The Law of Non-International Armed Conflict 155180 (2012)Google Scholar.

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