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Title: Internationalized armed conflicts in international law
Author: Macak, Jakub (Kubo)
ISNI:       0000 0004 5212 9877
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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In a world shaped by the simultaneous forces of globalization and fragmentation, very few armed conflicts remain isolated from any foreign involvement and confined to the territory of one State. On the contrary, many begin as internal conflicts that gradually acquire international characteristics of varying degree and nature. Yet, the law of armed conflict forces each such conflict into one of two legal categories: it must either be a non-international, or an international armed conflict. Accordingly, the prevailing approach in the literature is to examine what type of conflict, if any, corresponds to a certain situation in reality at a given time. In contrast, this thesis opts for a dynamic approach, focussing on the combination of factors that transform a prima facie non-international armed conflict into an international armed conflict. It argues that four such modalities of internationalization have emerged thus far: (1) outside intervention; (2) State dissolution; (3) wars of national liberation; and (4) relative internationalization by way of recognition of belligerency, unilateral declarations, or special agreements. Since some situations feature more than two conflict parties, the thesis puts forward an autonomy-based interpretive model, which enables to determine whether such situations should be seen as a single internationalized armed conflict or a number of independent international and non-international armed conflicts. On the basis of this comprehensive map of conflict internationalization, the thesis turns to the effects brought about by this process. It analyses two areas of the law of armed conflict considered to be regulated differently in the two respective types of conflict, namely matters of combatant status and belligerent occupation. It argues that fighters belonging to non-State armed groups participating in internationalized armed conflicts are in principle eligible for combatant status and it proposes an interpretive model for the determination whether they in fact meet the relevant criteria in practice. Finally, the thesis argues in favour of the applicability of the law of belligerent occupation to internationalized armed conflicts. To substantiate this claim, it delineates the temporal, geographical, and personal scope of the law of occupation in such conflicts. In its totality, the thesis analyses the meaning, process, and effects of conflict internationalization and on this basis argues for a particular interpretation of the concept of internationalized armed conflict in international law.
Supervisor: Talmon, Stefan Sponsor: Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Public international law ; international law ; international humanitarian law ; law of armed conflict ; internationalization