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Title: Reaffirmation and development of customary international humanitarian law by international criminal tribunals
Author: Kazemi Abadi, Alireza
ISNI:       0000 0004 6421 5182
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The codifying of international humanitarian law (IHL) that began in the mid-nineteenth century has not diminished the importance of customary international humanitarian law (CIHL), at least, in filling the gaps between the needs of the victims of armed conflicts and the inadequacies of conventional law. This is fully reflected in the case-law of international criminal tribunals (ICTs) where customary law has been extensively applied in areas that are not sufficiently regulated by treaty provisions or where the parties to armed conflicts were not parties to similar treaties. This study mainly focuses on the contributions of the judicial decisions of the ICTs to the current state of CIHL. It examines how the decisions have reaffirmed certain rules of CIHL or, when applicable, how they have influenced the subsequent development of CIHL. It also seeks to analytically study the rules of IHL identified as customary in the decisions of ICTs. In the course of research, the customary definition of non-international armed conflicts (NIACs), tests for determining internationalized armed conflicts, customary content of war crimes, and their application to NIACs are discussed in greater details. It is argued that the ICTs contribute to customary rules by way of reaffirmation and development. They develop CIHL through judicial interpretation or practical application of existing laws to new cases. CIHL has the advantages of flexibility in formation and universality in application. The case-law of ICTs, however, clearly reveals that the prime advantage of CIHL is its constituent elements and the prerogative that the ICTs can exercise in identifying customary rules. The ICTs deliberately choose combinations of the elements of opinio juris and State practice to draw the rules that they consider to be suitable for protecting the victims of armed conflicts. The methodology has been occasionally criticized to be ultra vires law-making. This research shows that the methodology is still definable in the positivist views to international law-making, though they have managed to develop CIHL beyond its traditional boundaries to cover areas of IHL, such as NIACs where States have been traditionally reluctant to develop.
Supervisor: Henderson, Jane Elisabeth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available