Welcome to the Customary IHL database. This is the updated version of the Study on customary international humanitarian law conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and originally published by Cambridge University Press.

For more information on the Study, please see Customary international humanitarian law.

The database is divided in two parts:


This part presents an analysis of existing rules of customary IHL. While comprehensive, the Study does not purport to be an exhaustive assessment of all rules in this area of law.

This part of the study is also available in Arabic, Chinese, FrenchRussian and Spanish.

A summary of the Study and the list of rules is available in many other languages.


This part contains the underlying practice for the rules analysed in Part 1. Rules.
It is updated on a regular basis by the ICRC, in cooperation with the British Red Cross. The most recent updates integrate national practice up to the end of 2010 for a set of 32 countries , which is marked in green.



Source materials are gathered by a network of ICRC delegations and of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world and incorporated by a research team based at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. Translations into English of source material from non-English speaking countries, are, unless otherwise indicated, unofficial translations. The authorative version of any material translated for the database is the original version of the document, available at http://www.cid.icrc.org/library/Default.aspx or upon request.