The relationship between international humanitarian and human rights law where it matters: admissible killing and internment of fighters in non-international armed conflicts

The article explores the relationship between international humanitarian and human rights law during non-international armed conflict. It seeks to answer two questions: First, according to which branch of law may a member of an armed group be attacked and killed? Second, may a captured member of an armed force or group be detained similarly to a prisoner of war in international armed conflicts or as prescribed by human rights? Through application of the lex specialis principle, this article discusses possible answers to these questions.

About the authors

Laura M. Olson
Legal Advisor

J.D., LL.M., is currently the legal advisor to the ICRC Regional Delegation for the United States and Canada. Previously, within the ICRC, she held the positions of legal advisor at the ICRC headquarters in Geneva and was the delegate responsible for the program to academic circles and universities at the ICRC Moscow Regional Delegation

Marco Sassòli

Marco Sassòli is Director of the Department of International Law and International Organization and Professor of International Law at the University of Geneva, and Associate Professor at the Université Laval and the University of Québec in Montreal, Canada; he is also a member of the Editorial Board of the International Review of the Red Cross.