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  • Veronika Bílková (a1)

The paper offers the first comprehensive treatment of the applicability and regulation of belligerent reprisals in non-international armed conflicts. It introduces three approaches to the topic (‘extralegal’, ‘permissive’ and ‘restrictive’ approaches) which all enjoy some support among States and scholars. The paper shows that international humanitarian law (IHL) treaties, IHL customs and other legal sources do not make it possible to decide between these approaches, as they are either silent on the topic or allow for several interpretations. It is the assessment of extralegal considerations and of the general framework of IHL which allows us to conclude that belligerent reprisals are inapplicable in non-international armed conflicts (‘extralegal’ approach). Yet, there are signs indicating that a gradual shift toward the ‘restrictive’ approach could be under way. The paper cautions against a premature acceptance of this approach drawing attention to its limits.

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C Stahn , ‘“Jus ad bellum”, “jus in bello” … “jus post bellum”? Rethinking the Conception of the Law of Armed Force’ (2006) 17 EJIL 5, 921–43

V Lowe , ‘Precluding Wrongfulness or Responsibility: A Plea for Excuses’ (1999) 10 EJIL 406

L Moir , The Law of Internal Armed Conflict (Cambridge University Press2002)

A Cullen , The Concept of Non-International Armed Conflict in International Humanitarian Law (Cambridge University Press2010)

P Sutter , ‘The Continuing Role for Belligerent Reprisals’ (2008) 13 Journal of Conflict and Security Law 1, 98

A Cassese , ‘The Martens Clause: Half a Loaf or Simply Pie in the Sky?’ (2000) 11 EJIL 1, 187

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International & Comparative Law Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0020-5893
  • EISSN: 1471-6895
  • URL: /core/journals/international-and-comparative-law-quarterly
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