Sanctions for violations of international humanitarian law: the problem of the division of competences between national authorities and between national and international authorities

This article seeks to explore the reasons why sanctions for international humanitarian law violations are so difficult to put into effect. The implementation of sanctions is too often seen solely through the prism of international law, without paying enough attention to the complexity and diversity of municipal legal systems. The author discusses the influence of the sharing of competencies within the State on the implementation of sanctions, the broad interpretation of their powers by regional or international human rights bodies and the creation of new or specific bodies in charge of dealing with and if necessary punishing gross violations of humanitarian law.

About the author

Xavier Philippe
Legal Advisor

ICRC Legal Advisor for Eastern Europe in Moscow and Professor of Public Law at the Universities of Aix-Marseille III and Western Cape