ISSN : 1997-1052 (Print)
227-202X (Online)
 
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Challenges for Implementing International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in the Contemporary Landscape
Tariq Bin Sarwar
Abstract

War was, war is and war always will be. However, war should be humane. War has limits and war can be humane as well. Apart from few blurred issues IHL contains numerous provisions encompassing, inter alia, the protection of the war stricken population and the means and methods of warfare. However, implementation of IHL has been a big challenge. In the last century the dimension of warfare was under great transformation. Hence, the scope of IHL also expanded and it’s still going on. War has monstrous effects and most commonly the rules of IHL are violated indifferently. However, enforcement of IHL has been a challenging task and it has been seen to be enforced partially. The violators of the losing side may be brought to book; however, the violators of the winning side may not be so. Hence, might is right is reflected in the enforcement of IHL. Implementation of IHL in non-international armed conflicts is more challenging than that of international armed conflicts. Sometimes legal vacuum is formed when a given situation cannot be brought under the auspices of IHL. Moreover, the culture of impunity prevails in the IHL regime due to the indifference of the parties. Many perpetrators remain at large. Insensitive violations of the rules of IHL by the belligerents postulate the haplessness of the entire regime. The article analyzes the challenges in implementing IHL in the changed backdrop and it looks for the measures which are essential to overcome those challenges.

Keywords: Asymmetric Warfare, Direct Participation in Hostilities, Cyber Warfare, War on Terror, Automated Weapon System, Principle of Distinction.

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