Together with the principle prohibiting weapons “of a nature to cause superfluous injury” or “calculated to cause unnecessary suffering,” the Martens clause, in the Preamble to the Hague Conventions on the Laws and Customs of War on Land, is an enduring legacy of those instruments. In the years since its formulation, the Martens clause has been relied upon in die Nurembergjurisprudence, addressed by the International Court of Justice and human rights bodies, and reiterated in many humanitarian law treaties that regulate the means and methods of warfare. It was restated in die 1949 Geneva Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, the 1977 Additional Protocols to those Conventions, and the Preamble to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons, albeit in slightly different versions. The Martens clause was paraphrased in Resolution XXIII of the Tehran Conference on Human Rights of 1968, and is cited or otherwise referred to in several national military manuals, including those of the United States, die United Kingdom, and Germany. Moreover, attempts have recently been made, including by parties before die International Court of Jusdce, to invoke the clause, in the absence of specific norms of customary and conventional law, to oudaw the use of nuclear weapons.
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