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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The law of armed conflict previously applied only to international armed conflicts. Today, internal armed conflicts are regulated by Article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, along with an increasing number of provisions. The second Additional Protocol of 1977 (AP II) to the 1949 GC contains 18 substantive provisions devoted entirely to non-international armed conflicts (NIACs). This chapter discusses the variety and complexity of international humanitarian law rules applicable to NIACs and the criteria used for identifying the existence of a NIAC. It considers how the nature of hostilities and the quality of the actors are used as defining criteria to distinguish an armed conflict from banditry, terrorism, and short rebellions.

Keywords: law of armed conflict, non-international armed conflicts, international humanitarian law, hostilities, actors, banditry, terrorism, short rebellions, international armed conflicts

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