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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

2. Still a World of States

For better or for worse, we live in a world of states, and in most cases the laws of war, like other parts of international law, must be implemented through national mechanisms of various kinds: deliberations in government departments, national laws, manuals of military law, rules of engagement, government-established commissions of inquiry, and courts and courts-martial. Often when these mechanisms are employed, it is not immediately obvious that what is at issue is the implementation of the laws of war. This is because an issue may well be formally expressed in terms of a violation of a national law, or of internal military discipline, or of an ethical code which is seen as in some respects national in character.