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The interrelation of the law of occupation and economic, social and cultural rights: the examples of food, health and property

30-09-2008 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 871, by Sylvain Vité

The current legal regime relative to occupation is no longer based solely on customary law and treaty-based law as set forth in the law of The Hague and the law of Geneva. The article explores how this regime has undergone a thorough change with the progressive recognition of the applicability of human rights law to the situations that it governs. The author examines the interrelation of international humanitarian law and human rights at the level of their individual rules, and considers whether the rules of international humanitarian law are confirmed, complemented, relativized or even contradicted by those deriving from human rights.

   

Dr Sylvain Vite  is a Legal Adviser, Legal Division, ICRC 
 
Abstract 
The current legal regime relative to occupation is no longer based solely on the contributions made by customary law and treaty-based law as set forth in the law of   The Hague and the law of Geneva. It has undergone a thorough change with the progressive recognition of the applicability of human rights law to the situations which it governs, and their complementarity has been highlighted on several occasions. The question of the interrelation of international humanitarian law and human rights is not resolved merely by analysing their respective areas of application. The author examines the issue at the level of their individual rules. He considers whether the rules of international humanitarian law are confirmed, complemented, relativized or even contradicted by those deriving from human rights. The analysis focuses more particularly on the interrelation of the law of occupation and economic, social and cultural rights by concentrating on the promotion of adequate standards of living (right to food, right to health) and respect for property.  


 
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