Starting this week, we're launching a new weekly feature, Mélange du Mercredi (Wednesday Mix in French). Every Wednesday, we'll share a review from our friends over at the International Review of the Red Cross, highlighting the latest and greatest in book, film and other scholarly resources and focusing on a variety of issues pertaining to international humanitarian law. And while we'll start off highlighting resources mentioned in the Review, if you have other suggestions, or would like to submit a post on a resource you feel our readers will also enjoy, we're happy to include those as well. Just email Editor Niki Clark.
Human Rights in Armed Conflict: Law, Practice, Policy by Gerd Obleitner
Review written by Ezequiel Heffes, LLM, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law & Human Rights, law degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Law.
There seems to be no doubt about the application of human rights in armed conflicts, but until now, how they are applied had been only partially explored. In Human Rights in Armed Conflict, Gerd Oberleitner offers a meticulous analysis and asks profound questions about the “purpose, nature and scope of the whole jus in bello”. Indeed, the book’s main hypothesis is that human rights impact upon and are gradually changing the jus in bello as we know it. This issue, however, is not merely a matter of legal theory, but a confrontation between advocates of a human rights-oriented law enforcement paradigm and advocates of a security-oriented armed conflict paradigm.
Rather than presenting a lengthy discussion on the interaction between international human rights law (IHRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) or a collection of topical essays, Oberleitner explores whether the language of IHRL can and should be used to express matters hitherto articulated in military codes from a practical and accessible perspective. Human Rights in Armed Conflict should thus be viewed as part of a growing trend which comes with an exponential explosion of jurisprudence and academic legal literature on this subject. Its arrival should not be surprising and is certainly welcome.