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Sanctions as a means of obtaining greater respect for humanitarian law: a review of their effectiveness

30-06-2008 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 870, by Anne-Marie La Rosa

There are several aspects to reviewing the role of punishment in ensuring greater respect for international humanitarian law. First, the question of improving compliance with the law; second, focus on the punishment itself; and third, characteristics of the perpetrators.

   

Dr Anne-Marie La Rosa is Legal Adviser at the Advisory Service, Legal Division, ICRC.   She also teaches international criminal law. 
 
Abstract 
There are several aspects to reviewing the role of punishment in ensuring greater respect for international humanitarian law. First, there is the question of improving compliance with the law, second, the focus on the punishment itself and, third, the characteristics of the perpetrators. The situation of armed groups is dealt with separately. The article also examines transitional justice as an accompanying measure and the problem of how to take care of the victims. Finally, suggestions are presented which could help the parties concerned in the establishment of a system of sanctions capable of having a lasting influence on the conduct of weapon bearers so as to obtain greater respect for international humanitarian law.  


 
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