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Promoting Compliance with the Rules Regulating Humanitarian Relief Operations in Armed Conflict: Some Challenges

  • Dapo Akande (a1) and Emanuela-Chiara Gillard (a2)
Abstract

In recent years, the increasingly frequent and, in certain contexts, extremely severe impediments to the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in need have focused attention on how to enhance compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) that regulate humanitarian relief operations. Efforts to hold accountable parties to armed conflict and persons responsible for unlawfully impeding humanitarian relief operations face the challenge that the underlying rules give parties latitude in how to implement the central obligation to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian supplies, equipment and personnel. This article outlines the rules of IHL regulating humanitarian relief operations and highlights the difficulties, in the majority of situations, of determining whether they have been violated. It then presents current endeavours to promote accountability. It concludes with some reflections on whether the threat of accountability is the most effective way of enhancing compliance with this area of IHL, at least while efforts are under way to negotiate access.

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References
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Rogier Bartels , ‘Denying Humanitarian Access as an International Crime in Times of Non-International Armed Conflict: The Challenges to Prosecute and Some Proposals for the Future’ (2015) 48 Israel Law Review 281

Felix Schwendimann , ‘The Legal Framework of Humanitarian Access in Armed Conflict’ (2011) 93(844) International Review of the Red Cross 993

Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck , Customary International Humanitarian Law, Vol I: Rules (International Committee of the Red Cross and Cambridge University Press 2005

Louise Doswald-Beck (ed), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea (Cambridge University Press 1995) art 102

Knut Dörmann , Elements of War Crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Sources and Commentary (Cambridge University Press 2003) 364

Magdalena Pacholska , ‘(Il)legality of Killing Peacekeepers: The Crime of Attacking Peacekeepers in the Jurisprudence of International Criminal Tribunals’ (2015) 13 Journal of International Criminal Justice 43

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Israel Law Review
  • ISSN: 0021-2237
  • EISSN: 2047-9336
  • URL: /core/journals/israel-law-review
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