It is now widely accepted that international human rights law applies in situations of armed conflict alongside international humanitarian law, but the contours and consequences of this development remain unclear. This book revisits, organizes and contextualizes the debate on human rights in armed conflict and explores the legal challenges, operational consequences and policy implications of resorting to human rights in situations of inter- and intra-state violence. It presents the benefits and the drawbacks of using international human rights law alongside humanitarian law and discusses how the idea, law and policy of human rights influence the development of the law of armed conflict. Based on legal theory, policy analysis, state practice and the work of human rights bodies it suggests a human rights-oriented reading of the law of armed conflict as feasible and necessary in response to the changing character of war.
Gerd Oberleitner is Associate Professor of International Law and the Law of International Organisations at the Institute of International Law and International Relations, University of Graz. His publications include Global Human Rights Institutions: Between Remedy and Ritual (2007).
Introduction; Part I. Human Rights in Armed Conflict: History of an Idea: 1. From mediaeval sources to modernity; 2. The science of warfare and the progress of civilization; 3. 1945: whither war?; 4. Human rights in armed conflict; Part II. Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Theory: 5. Exclusivity: the misconceived idea of lex specialis; 6. Complementarity: maximizing protection; 7. Integration: the transformative influence of human rights; Part III. Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Challenges and Commonalities: 8. The right to life: the limits of human rights in armed conflict?; 9. The extraterritorial application of human rights: functional universality; 10. War as emergency: derogation; 11. Human rights and humanitarian obligations; 12. Operationalising human rights in armed conflict; Part IV. The Dynamics of War and Law: 13. The changing character of war; 14. Governing internal armed violence; 15. Human rights in situations of occupation; 16. Context: the humanization of international law; Part V. Enforcement: Practice and Potential: 17. United Nations Human Rights Council: monitoring armed conflicts; 18. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; 19. United Nations human rights treaty bodies; 20. The Inter-American human rights system; 21. The European Court of Human Rights; 22. The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights; 23. Monitoring and litigating humanitarian rights: prospects; Conclusion.