Back
 BLR  Vol.9 No.2 , June 2018
The Historical Evolution of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) from Earliest Societies to Modern Age
Abstract: International humanitarian law earlier known as the law of war is applied in the armed conflict to protect those who don`t take part in the hostilities or no longer taking part in the hostilities. Even in absence of any international document the earliest societies or communities would have followed some rules of war during conflict either as per the instructions of the community leader or customs or religions. The paper addresses the earlier scattered provisions of the law of war (LOW) or international humanitarian law (IHL) in various religious books, customs and practices. It then turns to the development of IHL by the codification of the rules of war in various international and national documents. This article also focuses on the significant development of IHL by adopting the four Geneva conventions (GCs) and its three additional protocols (AP) and most importantly progress and promotion of IHL by incorporating the laws of armed conflict in the national legislations.
Cite this paper: Islam, M. (2018) The Historical Evolution of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) from Earliest Societies to Modern Age. Beijing Law Review, 9, 294-307. doi: 10.4236/blr.2018.92019.
References

[1]   Additional Protocol (AP, I) to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 1125 UNTS 3, 8 June 1977 (entered into force 7 December 1978).

[2]   Additional Protocol (AP, II) to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, 1125 UNTS 3, 8 June 1977 (entered into force 7 December 1978).

[3]   Additional Protocol (AP, III) to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III), 8 December 2005.
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/ihl/INTRO/615?OpenDocument

[4]   Claude, P., Jean, D. P., Yves, S., Bruno, Z., Philippe, E., Hans, P. G., & Claude, F. (1987). Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949. International Committee of the Red Cross.

[5]   Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (1929). Geneva, 27 July 1929, Treaties and State Parties of Such Treaties, ICRC.
http://www.icrc.org/ihl/INTRO/305

[6]   Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Certain Explosive Projectiles Saint Petersburg (29 November/11 December 1868).

[7]   Draper. G. I. A. D. (1979). The Implementation and Enforcement of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Two Additional Protocols of 1977. 164, The Hague Academy of International Law.

[8]   Fleck, D., & Bothe, M. (1999). The Hand Book of International Humanitarian Law (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[9]   Geneva Convention (GC, I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31 (Entered into Force 21 October 1950).

[10]   Geneva Convention (GC, II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31 (Entered into Force 21 October 1950).

[11]   Geneva Convention (GC, III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31 (Entered into Force 21 October 1950).

[12]   Geneva Convention (GC, IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons at Time of War of 12 August 1949, 75 UNTS 31 (Entered into Force 21 October 1950).

[13]   Gill, T. & Fleck, D. (Eds.) The Hand Book of the International Law of Military Operations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[14]   ICRC (1956). Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War.
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/ihl/INTRO/420?OpenDocument

[15]   ICRC (2005) The ICRC Since 1945: The Geneva Conventions 1949; Background to the Major Revision and Expansion of the Geneva Conventions after World War II; Overview of Some of Their Most Important Innovations. International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/icrc-genevaconventions-revision-1949.htm

[16]   International Crimes Tribunal Act 1973 (as amended in 2009).

[17]   James, A. T. (2009). War, Violence and Population: Making the Body Count. New York: The Guilford Press.

[18]   Khan, H. K. (2013). Islam and International Humanitarian Law. Paper Presented in 23rd SAT on International Humanitarian Law in Dhaka.

[19]   Maresca, L., & Maslen, S. (2000). The ICRC’s Draft Rules to Protect Civilian Populations 1955-1956. In L. Maresca, & S. Maslen (Eds.), The Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines. The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross 1955-1999 (pp. 15-18). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
http://ebooks.cambridge.org/chapter.jsf?bid=CBO9780511494246&cid=CBO9780511494246A012

[20]   National Implementation of International Humanitarian Law (2010). International Review of the Red Cross. 92(879).

[21]   Pictet, J. (1984). Development and Principles of International Humanitarian Law. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.

[22]   Rome Statute of International Criminal Court 1998, adopted 17 July 1998, entered into force on 1 July 2002, arts 81 & 82.
https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/ihl/INTRO/585?OpenDocument

[23]   Sandoz, Y., Swinarski, C., & Zimmermann, B. (Eds.) (1987). Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (p. xxxi). Geneva: International Committee of the Red Cross, Martinus Nijholf Publications.

[24]   Sassòli, M., Bouvier, A. A., & Quintin, A. (2012). How Does Law Protect in Law, Cases; Documents and Teaching Materials on Contemporary Practice in International Humanitarian Law. In Outline of International Humanitarian Law (3rd ed.). International Committee of the Red Cross.

[25]   Spoerri, P. (2009). The Geneva Conventions 1949: Origin and Current Significance. ICRC, Resource Centre.
http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/statement/geneva-conventions-statement-120809.htm

[26]   Terry, G., & Fleck, D. (Eds.) (2010). The Hand Book of the International Law of Military Operations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[27]   The Covenant of the League of Nations (1919). Adopted on 28 June 1919, came into force 16, January 1920 established by Part-1 of the treaty of Versailles.

 
 
Top