Common Article 2 as a paradigmatically challenging threshold for the application of IHL – Rob McLaughlin

Our blog mini-series, co-hosted with the ICRC, wraps up with a post by Associate Professor Rob McLaughlin, Co-Director of the ANU Centre for Military and Security Law.  Dr McLaughlin shares his reflections on common article 2 and the important question of when IHL must be applied.

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Ensuring respect: the role of State practice in interpreting the Geneva Conventions – John Reid

In this second instalment of the mini-series on the ICRC’s Updated Geneva Convention Commentaries, John Reid, Head of the Office of International Law at the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, highlights the importance of State practice in understanding the common article 1 obligation to respect and ensure respect for IHL.

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Common Article 1: A Lynchpin in the System to Ensure Respect for International Humanitarian Law – Jean-Marie Henckaerts

In March, the ICRC released an updated Commentary on the First Geneva Convention of 1949.  This is the first instalment of six new commentaries aimed at bringing the interpretation of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols of 1977 to the 21st century.  In this blog mini-series co-hosted with the ICRC, three authors will share their perspective on some of the fundamental obligations enshrined in the Geneva Conventions and the evolution of the application and interpretation of these important provisions. 

Jean-Marie Henckaerts, ICRC’s Head of the Commentaries Update project, kicks off the mini-series with an examination of why the commitment by States to respect and ensure respect for IHL is more than just a “loose pledge”, and what measures States can take to fulfil this obligation.

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