Without order, anything goes? The prohibition of forced displacement in non-international armed conflict

30 September 2009 Jan Willms

At first glance, merely the 'ordering' of displacement seems to be prohibited in noninternational armed conflict. However, after interpreting Article 17(1) AP II and Rule 129(B) of the ICRC Customary Law Study with particular regard to State practice and opinio juris, the author concludes that these norms prohibit forced displacement regardless of whether it is ordered or not. On the other hand, the ICC Elements of Crimes for the crime of forced displacement under Article 8(2)(e)(viii) ICC Statute require an order. It remains to be seen whether the ICC adopts that interpretation in its jurisprudence.

About the author

Jan Willms
Former legal attaché at the International Committee of the Red Cross

Jan Willms is former legal attache¤ at the International Committee of the Red Cross and former Carlo Schmid Fellow at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He holds an LL.M. in Public International Law from the University of Nottingham.

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