GoJIL Vol. 3, No. 1 (2011)
Enhancing Compliance with International Law by Armed Non-State Actors
Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen
Enhancing compliance with international norms by armed non-state actors is central to efforts to improve the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Limited engagement with such actors, as well as lack of clarity as to the precise nature and extent of the international legal regimes that are applicable to them, constitute significant barriers to achieving better compliance. In this article the authors argue for international human rights law to be more widely seen as imposing direct obligations upon armed non-state actors and for counter-terrorism legislation not to be interpreted so as to preclude engagement on positive respect for humanitarian norms. What is needed is greater engagement with armed non-State actors, not less.
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