|Prohibition of Terrorist Acts in International Humanitarian Law (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1986, 16 p.)|
* This paper was presented at the 11th Round Table on Current Problems of International Humanitarian Law, San Remo (9-14 September 1985). A slightly adapted version has been published, in German, in "Vrrecht im Dienste des Menschen", Festgabe Hans Haug, ed. Haupt, Bern and Stuttgart, 1986.
Extract from the International Review of the Red Cross
This paper deals with the provisions of contemporary international humanitarian law which prohibit "terrorist acts", commonly referred to, simply, as "terrorism".
Since the paper is mainly of a descriptive nature, experts in international humanitarian law will learn little that is new. But if it succeeds in highlighting one specific aspect of the well-known obligations and prohibitions set forth in the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols - namely, the absolute and unconditional ban on terrorism - the objective will be attained. A few basic facts will then have been recalled which should make it somewhat easier to tackle the complex questions as to the essence and legal bounds of guerrilla warfare.
First of all, it is necessary to clarity once more the meaning of various terms - particularly because the discussions about the ratification of the Additional Protocols of 1977 have of late produced some strange pronouncements, such as: "Rights for terrorists - a 1977 treaty would grant them", "Law in the service of terrorism", "Protocol I as a charter for terrorism". One wonders whether the world is suddenly upside down.