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close this bookLaw in Humanitarian Crises Volume I : How Can International Humanitarian Law Be Made Effective in Armed Conflicts? (European Commission Humanitarian Office)
close this folderThe Laws of War: Problems of Implementation in Contemporary Conflicts
close this folderV. Summary and Conclusions
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1. Realist and Idealist Images of the Laws of War
View the document2. Still a World of States
View the document3. Humanitarianism as a Substitute for Policy
View the document4. Application to Non-International Conflicts
View the document5. Mines
View the document6. Limits of Compliance Provisions
View the document7. Trials
View the document8. International Criminal Court
View the document9. Reparations
View the document10. The United Nations
View the document11. Barbarians?
View the document12. A Set of Professional Military Standards?
View the document13. Need to Keep Our Own Houses in Order
View the document14. The Relation between Ius in Bello and Ius ad Bellum
View the document15. Taking Implementation Seriously

14. The Relation between Ius in Bello and Ius ad Bellum

The idea that the laws of war are applicable in armed conflicts irrespective of the righteousness of each side's cause is well grounded in tradition and logic. However, this does not mean that there is no connection between ius in bello and ius ad bellum. Recent practice confirms that observance of the laws of war impinges on the question of justification for war in many and complex ways. For example, the distinction between the US-led coalition and Iraq in the matter of observance of basic norms of conduct contributed strongly to the sense of the reasonableness of the coalition cause. In 1992 the UN Security Council explicitly included violations of humanitarian norms as part of its justification for the intervention in Somalia. In 1995 it was violations of safe areas, including the commission of atrocities by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica and the shelling of civilians in Sarajevo, that led to the UN and NATO joint authorization of "Operation Deliberate Force ". Ultimately it is extremely hard to separate laws of war matters from the broader political issues from which they spring; and the use of military force against persistent violators may be one of the most important forms of implementation.