Editorial: Delineating the boundaries of violence

02 September 2015 Vincent Bernard

What does the legal regulation of armed conflict at the beginning of the twenty-first century look like? Is it legally permissible to target anyone, anywhere, with armed drones? Can and should States apply their own human rights standards when they are involved in a multinational operation abroad? When, if ever, would a cyber-operation amount to an armed conflict? Some of these questions come up time and again as we scroll through the daily news feed. They all relate to what we call the "scope of applicability" of the body of law regulating armed conflict – international humanitarian law (IHL) – and its interaction with other legal regimes.

About the author

Vincent Bernard

Vincent Bernard

Vincent BERNARD is editor in chief of the International Review of the Red Cross, a leading academic journal on humanitarian law, policy and action published by the ICRC and Cambridge University Press. He is also the head of the Law and Policy Forum, which leads ICRC’s engagement with expert audiences interested in teaching, researching and debating international humanitarian law (IHL). The unit runs the Humanitarium conference center in Geneva, the new Humanitarian Law and Policy blog, the IHL online training center etc. Vincent joined the ICRC in 1998 and worked in the field for 6 years in Dakar, Nairobi and Jerusalem. As head of the ICRC’s field communication set-up from 2006 to 2010 he travelled and worked in most of ICRC’s operational contexts. Prior to joining the organization, Vincent studied political science, law and international relations at the Political Science Institute and Law Faculty in Strasburg, The King’s College, London and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and taught law at the University of Marmara in Istanbul.