When is a conflict international? Time for new control tests in IHL

08 February 2018 Djemila Carron

This article clarifies the control a State should have over an armed group for the triggering act of an international armed conflict and for the internationalization of non-international armed conflicts in international humanitarian law. It explains the reasons for the distinction between these two types of attribution and details the specificities of each test, with an innovative approach. The author proposes new control tests for both triggering and internationalization, rejecting the effective and overall control tests regarding internationalization proposed by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. For instance, regarding the internationalization of a non-international armed conflict, a general and strict control test is proposed. Finally, this article addresses specific issues like the difficult question of the control required for an occupation through an armed group.

About the author

Djemila Carron
Law Faculty of the University of Geneva

Djemila Carron is the Co-Founder and a Lecturer at the Law Clinic on the rights of vulnerable people at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the InZone Center at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva. In 2016 she published her PhD thesis on the triggering act of an international armed conflict.