TRACING HUMANITY IN WARFARE: AN EXPOSITION OF THE EVOLUTIONARY TREND OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW

Abstract

The article examines the trend of development of international humanitarian law (IHL) right from antiquity. It shows that application of humanitarian considerations in armed conflict was not systematic during the days of early society. While during the middle ages, the development of IHL was slow because of the integration of war with religion, thus belligerents fighting just war need not to comply with the laws of armed conflict. The article discloses that the notion of just war has stagnated the growth of humanity in warfare, but after its declined, IHL developed rapidly as a result of the dichotomization between state and religion around the seventeen century, which paved way for the application of humanitarian rules in armed conflict regardless of the justness of a war. The article further examines the period of codification of the laws and customs of war, and it shows that the era has greatly enhanced and assisted the development of modern day IHL conventions and the Protocols. The article reveals that IHL has followed certain stages in its development and each of these stages has its peculiar feature, which either assisted or disrupted the growth of the law. It recommends to those disseminating IHL the need to always consider the stages of the development of the law including Islams’ contributions and that will give further clarity in understanding the law and its objectives

Keywords: Armed conflict, Codification, Humanitarian Consideration, IHL, Just War


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 40-53 (Download PDF)

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