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State responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law

30-06-2002 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 846, by Marco Sassòli

   

Marco Sassòli
is Professor of International Law at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada. He is a former ICRC delegate and head of delegation, and former Deputy Head of the ICRC's Legal Division. He would like to thank his research assistants Ms Marie-Louise Tougas and Mr Isabelito Domingo for their valuable assistance in preparing this article. 

 
Abstract 
In 2001, the International Law Commission adopted the Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts. The author examines these articles and the Commission’s comments regarding State responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law, thus clarifying various questions relating to the attribution of violations to States or other actors, to the circumstances – such as necessity – sometimes cited to justify violations, and, in particular, to the legal consequences for a State of any violations it has committed. As regards the implementation of State responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law, a combined reading of this body of law and the Draft Articles gives a clearer view of how other States can and should respond to violations of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.  

   
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