• Send page
  • Print page

Reviewing the legality of new weapons, means and methods of warfare

31-12-2006 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 864, by Kathleen Lawand

Parties to an armed conflict are limited in their choice of weapons, means and methods of warfare by the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) governing the conduct of hostilities. This article goes back to the relevant rules.

   

Kathleen Lawand
is Legal advisor in the ICRC Arms Unit until January 2007; currently Legal Advisor for the ICRC in Afghanistan. The research assistance of Pierre-Olivier Marcoux is gratefully acknowledged. 

 
 
Parties to an armed conflict are limited in their choice of weapons, means and methods of warfare by the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL) governing the conduct of hostilities. Relevant rules include the prohibition on using means and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering and the prohibition on using means of warfare that are incapable of distinguishing between civilians or civilian objects and military targets, which are the ‘‘cardinal rules’’ of IHL applying to weapons. In addition, particular treaties and customary rules impose specific prohibitions or limitations on the use of certain weapons, for example anti-personnel mines and blinding laser weapons.  

   
    pdf file   Full text in PDF format    (64kb)  
  About Acrobat PDF files 
 


Related pages