GoJIL Vol. 8, No. 1 (2017)
The International Responsibility of Non-State Armed Groups: In Search of the Applicable Rules
Ezequiel Heffes & Brian E. Frenkel
In the last few decades, the role of non-state armed groups has become an essential topic of analysis and discussion to better understand international humanitarian law dynamics. While their increasing importance is uncontroversial, their place and regulation in specific areas of international law still remains unclear or insufficiently explored. Chief among these is the possible non-state armed groups’ international responsibility. Although it is undisputed that some of these entities breach their international law obligations, others seemingly engage with certain rules on the topic. This article addresses some legal consequences of such scenarios. Taking into account the principle of equality of belligerents in noninternational armed conflicts, two issues are dealt with: i) the existence of “nonstate” organs that could trigger the attribution of violations of international rules to non-state armed groups; ii) possible reparations owed by these non-state entities for their breaches during armed conflicts.
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