International humanitarian law refers to a set of laws that seek to control the effects of armed conflict. It provides protection to people affected by conflict yet they do not participate in the conflicts. It accomplishes this by limiting the warfare methods and means. This law is part of the international law, which is a set of rules that govern relations among different states. International law is found in conventions, treaties and agreements between states. Additionally, the law is also contained in customary rules consisting of national practice and considered as general principles that are legally binding.
This paper will cover on various aspects of international law. Among the issues that it will cover are: an elaborate explanation on what humanitarian and international law is, the origin of the law, what the law covers, what protection means in a legal sense, an elaborate description on where international humanitarian law is found and what regulations are outlined on tactics and weapon use. It will also discuss areas where international humanitarian law applies and also look at whether the law has been successfully complied with. Lastly, the paper will discuss the case of non-international armed conflicts and measures taken to ensure that the law is implemented. In this outline, however, two issues pertinent to the law will be discussed. These include protection, The Hague and The Geneva laws.
The international humanitarian law provides for protection to those people who do not participate in wrangles. Such people may include religious, medical and military staff or even civilians. It also covers those people that are usually involved in a fight but have stopped for various reasons . These include wounded combatants, the shipwrecked and war prisoners. The outlined categories of people have the right to be accorded respect for their lives, mental and physical integrity. Thus, they have to be treated humanely under all circumstances without any hazardous acts being administered against them on the basis of their condition. These people have right to enjoy their legal assurances. Moreover, it is outlawed to wound or kill an assailant who is not able to fight or has already surrendered. Regardless of the conflicting states, the wounded and the sick have to be taken care of by any party whose hands they find themselves in. Ambulances, hospitals, supplies and medical staff must be protected. Rules are also provided outlining the conditions of confinement for war prisoners, military requirements of different state and humanitarian affairs.
The Geneva and Hague laws
Both laws are branches of jus in Bello, the international law that outlines the acceptable code of conduct in the event of armed conflict and war.They both form the two historical branches of modern international humanitarian law. The Hague Law, also known as the laws of war, determine the duties and rights of states in the verge of war and regulates their conduct in their operations and also controls the means used to do harm. It is particularly concerned with developing rules governing the methods and means to be employed in warfare, examining the objectives of the military and also defining the combatants.The Law of Geneva on the other hand, majors in offering protection to civilians and the people who no longer participate in armed conflict. It provides a legal platform for humanitarian aid and protection carried out by some humanitarian organizations, for instance, the ICRC.
In conclusion, the paper will suggest recommendations to ensure that international humanitarian law lives to its purposes and obligations. Since the paper will fully scrutinize the law, suggestions for recommendations on the areas where the law has not been complied will also be made to ensure that people caught in the crossfire are fully protected.
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