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BASIC PRINCIPLES IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICTS (The war in the former Yugoslavia)

BASIC PRINCIPLES IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARMED CONFLICTS (The war in the former Yugoslavia)
1. IntroductionThe international humanitarian law, which is primarily contained in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Protocols of 1977, classified all armed conflicts to:- International armed conflicts;- Non-international armed conflicts;- Internal disturbances and tensions.The international armed conflicts involve hostilities between two or more countries. Such hostilities are not always recognized as a state of war, by parties to the conflict.The following text will primarily discuss this kind of conflict.
2. Armed conflicts in international lawThe meaning of the term «armed conflict» has been quite limited in the history of humankind, not only during civil wars and wars that last shorter, but also during the wars that imply fight between armed forces of several states. Namely, the international humanitarian law is not considered to be applicable during conflicts that are not considered as armed conflicts, even if members of armed forces conduct mass robberies, rapes, destructions and killings.
Lack of adequate and integral definition of war in international law has become more obvious during the last century. International actors used to avoid characterizing certain situations as «war», because it would affect not only application of the international humanitarian law, but also diplomatic relations, valid agreements, relations with third countries etc. Bearing in mind the abovementioned facts, the need to set criteria for application of the international humanitarian law has become obvious and necessary.
«(…) An armed conflict exists whenever there is a resort to armed force between States or protracted armed violence between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups within a State.» However, the modern international humanitarian law, primarily rules of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the two Protocols of 1977, divides all armed conflicts into:- International armed conflicts;- Non-international armed conflicts;- Internal disturbances and tensions.
The international armed conflicts involve hostilities between two or more countries. Such hostilities are not always recognized as a state of war, by parties to the conflict. Therefore, international armed conflicts involve all case of declared war (there was no such cases after adoption of the UN Charter in 1945), but also all other cases of «armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them». International armed conflicts also involve all cases of «cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance» , i.e. «armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist régimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination». The aforementioned facts lead us to conclusion that wars which involve exercising the right to self-determination are also considered international armed conflicts.
Non-international armed conflicts involve hostilities at the territory of only one state. According to the Protocol II of 1977, non-international armed conflicts represent all armed conflicts «which take place in the territory of a High Contracting Party between its armed forces and dissident armed forces or other organized armed groups which, under responsible command, exercise such control over a part of its territory as to enable them to carry out sustained and concerted military operations». Therefore, non-international armed conflicts imply governmental armed forces on one side, and dissident armed forces on the other side, or hostilities between armed groups fighting against each other.
The international humanitarian law is not being applied to internal disturbances and tensions, but domestic law of the state, in which internal disturbances and tensions are taking place, as well as international human rights laws. Rebellion, riots, isolated acts of violence, fights between different fractions or fight against Presidents and other similar acts are being considered as internal disturbances and tensions. Internal disturbances and tensions are characterized with serious disruptions of internal order, due to acts of violence that do not rise to the level of armed conflicts, and this mainly involves use of governmental armed forces of one side to the conflict that aims to re-establish public order without armed conflict, i.e. use of force as a preventive measure to preserve public order and peace. Internal disturbances usually represent serious and permanent conflicts that involve acts of violence, while the current state-level authorities use police forces or even armed forces to re-establish internal order in the country. Internal disturbances are characterized with mass arrests and inhuman treatment of arrested persons (starting from detention conditions up to judicial guarantees).

Therefore, the international humanitarian law applies both to international and non-international armed conflicts. In the first case, the international humanitarian law is primarily intended for the protection of individuals or groups who do not or who have ceased to take an active part in the conflict (wounded and sick in war on land, at sea and prisoners of war and civilians). In the second case, the international humanitarian law is intended to protect wounded or sick soldiers, persons deprived of their freedom, civilians and medical and religious personnel. However, the international human rights law is being applied in all these cases: international armed conflicts, non-international armed conflict and internal disturbances and tensions.
3. International armed conflictsThe international armed conflicts refer to „(…) all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.» This means that a formal a declaration of war is not necessary, and that international armed conflicts also involve the situations when all parties to the conflict do not recognize the state of war.
The international armed conflict also involved „(…) all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance.» This means that the international armed conflict exists as soon as one party to the conflict starts exercising its authority on the hostile territory and when the authority results with effects regulated by the Geneva Conventions. The application of the international humanitarian law to the military occupation has been introduced after certain situations during the World War II, when German armed forces occupied the territory of other countries with no resistance. Back then, criteria for the existence of a military occupation have been set: military presence, military force, distinction between the occupying forces and civilian population in terms of ethnicity and interests, and the need for rules that protect civilian population.
International armed conflicts also involve „(…) armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist régimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination (…).»
Given the fact that the author of these lines come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, we need to give an overview of the armed conflict that took place at the beginning of the 90s in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia. It was an international armed conflict, and one in which almost all the norms of international humanitarian law had been violated. In May 1993, in response to mass atrocities taking place in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Nations had established a special tribunal, ICTY, to deal with war crimes that took place during the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990’s. Such a Tribunal certainly contributed to the punishment of those who did not respect the rules of International Humanitarian Law. Of course, this court has both positive and negative aspects , but it concluded the discussion on what kind of an armed conflict took place in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina; on whether there were or there were not crimes during the war, and who were the criminals.
There are numerous discussions on the subject of what was the nature of the conflict that was conducted on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the ’90. Some have proven the thesis that the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina was international, others the opposite. Prof. Dr. Sakib Softic thinks that the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina was international and that SCG, claiming the contrary, wants to say that this conflict was not an aggression, because aggression exists when one country invades another, and „ordinary» civil war exists if there is a conflict within a state, between government and dissident groups. On the other hand, Prof. Dr. Boris Krivokapic considers that the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as throughout the former Yugoslavia, was an non-international armed conflict. He noted that the war in Bosnia was a bloody civil war with the participation of foreign factors.

In order to be able to engage in the above discussion, we need to recall the definition of international, as well as the definition of non-international armed conflict. In short, the armed conflict can be international if it is in the territory of two or more States, and non-international – if it is in the territory of one state, between its regular forces and rebellious groups. So, it is necessary to determine whether B&H was an independent state at the beginning of the conflict. If so – we have also proven the thesis that the conflict that took place on its territory was international, because the parties to the conflict were two countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro.
Given that Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent state on 6 March 1992, and that the onset of the SCG began in April 1992, we can conclude that this was an international armed conflict.
Statute of the ICTY is not clear in terms of defining the conflict in former Yugoslavia as international or non-international. However, Article 2 of the Statute defines serious violations of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and such violations are possible only in international armed conflict. Also, before the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina there are cases against persons committing war crimes against prisoners of war. However, in the non-international armed conflicts not only are there no military prisoners of war, but there are no fighters. Altogether, many agreements concluded during this conflict point out that it was an international armed conflict; for example, a Memorandum of Understanding between representatives of Serbia and Montenegro, the Yugoslav National Army and the Croatian Republic of 27th of November, 1992.
The answer is also given in the judgment of the ICTY in the Tadic case. Specifically, this case indicates criteria on which determination can be made whether conflict is a non-international or international. It was concluded that the structure of the JNA did not change after change of name, but continued to control the RS Army in B&H. This means that the RS Army and the former JNA were not two separate armies, because Serbia and Montenegro carried out the control of the Bosnian Serb armed forces and stood behind them even after the transformation of JNA forces.
Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald, in her concurring opinion to the Trial Judgement, found that the armed conflict in the municipality of Prijedor was international in character all the covered by the indictment. Also, the Appeals Chamber in Prosecutor v Zejnil Delalic, Zdravko Mucic, Hazim Delic and Esad Landzo (No. IT-96-21, 20 February 2001) qualified the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina until 19 May 1992 as undoubtedly international. The ICTY considers that the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina even after the specified date remained international since concluded that the RS armed forces acting under the control of and on behalf of Serbia and Montenegro. A similar conclusion was reached in cases Kordic and Cerkez, Blaskic, Naletilic and Martinovic, where the Trial Chamber found that the Bosnian Croat support from Croatia is Croatia’s intervention in the fighting between Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims.
Most authors of our times agree that an armed conflict is the worst way to solve disputes between two or more actors. However, some other authors of our times believe that armed conflicts have a positive side and consider them as useful to the society, while some of them even believe that each generation should lead a war in order to progress. Regardless of the aforementioned stances, all authors agree that limits should be set in every war. All authors also agree that, unfortunately, regulations cannot perfectly prescribe moderation in the use of armed force, and that it also depends on the scope of a particular conflict. Moderate behavior in armed conflict rests on the much needed balance between the cruelty of war and the expectations from the results of the conflict. In this regard, a middle ground between the use of military means and civilized expectations should be found.
The fastest way to achieve and maintain a lasting peace is to conduct hostilities in a human way. In order to set respect for moderate behavior in armed conflict, it is necessary to introduce sanctions for those who do not respect it. In this regard, states that ignore demands for human behavior in conflicts should be forced to feel consequences of non-compliance with international humanitarian law, and create situation in which all victories achieved in this way are not recognized within the international humanitarian law. Namely, setting different kinds of sanctions should condemn this kind of victory and show that it is not in accordance with rules of the modern and human international community.
When organizing attacks, special attention should be put to the need that only military objects can be attacked and if it becomes clear that non-military object may be a target, attacks shall be canceled. At the same time, there is an obligation to inform civilian population about the attack if circumstances allow it, in case that the attack may put them in danger. In essence, military commanders and others who organize and plan attacks, must primarily take into consideration that the objective of the attack is not prohibited; make sure that means, methods and weapons they intend to use in the attack do not cause losses among the civilian population; and they also must also refrain from attacks that are not proportional to military advantage and civilian losses. For example, bombing with any method and means by which the military objectives, in a particular town, village or other place containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects, are treated as military targets, is prohibited. This rule is also being applied in non-international armed conflicts. However, it is inappropriate to discuss the proportionality between the risk to civilians on one side, and military purposes on the other side – a human rights activist and a military commander rarely think the same about this issue.

In any case, there is a general opinion that everything that is prohibited in international armed conflicts is equally prohibited in non-international armed conflicts. The following categories of people will enjoy the status of protected persons in the conflicts:- Wounded, sick and shipwrecked;- Medical personnel;- Prisoners of war;- Civilians put under the hostile power.
The wounded, sick and shipwrecked must be found, collected and evacuated whenever circumstances permit it, and especially after fights. This rule applies to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked on both sides. The rule was first codified in the Article 6 of the Geneva Convention of 1864 and it implies not only an action of the party that controls the territory on which they are located, but also the permission for humanitarian organizations to operate in accordance with the rule. There is even an option that allows calling on civilian population to assist in the search, collection and evacuation of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked.
Medical staff and religious officials , women and children , journalists and humanitarian workers and UN personnel in peacekeeping missions will enjoy special protection.The Geneva Conventions of 1949 prohibit any kind of measures of repression against protected persons. Such measures shall not be applied not even as a response to the other side to the conflict that applied it. Taking hostages is also prohibited, as well as use of protected persons to make the so-called human shield.
The Protocol I has extended the prohibition to use measures of repression against civilian goods which are not military objectives, as well as the use of measures of repression against historic monuments, works of art and cultural sites that constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples. Likewise, the prohibition to use measures of repression also refers to the goods that are necessary for the survival of civilians.
4. Geneva Conventions of 1949If the world is far away from the realization of the idea to abolish wars, it should not be far from the realization of the idea to completely eliminate suffering in the war. For this reason, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has prepared drafts of new Conventions that are submitted to the Conference of Government Experts for the Study of the Conventions for the Protection of War Victims, Geneva 1947, for consideration. Representatives of fifteen countries attended the Conference on which occasion they amended the Geneva Convention for the Relief of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field (27 July 1929); the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (27 July 1929); and the Hague Convention No. X of 18 October 1907, for the Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of the Principles of the Geneva Convention of 1906. The ICRC has developed an integral act and forwarded it to the International Conference of the Red Cross for consideration.
The international diplomatic conference took place in Geneva in 1949. Delegations of 59 countries and delegation of four countries that have the status of observers attended the conference. The final result of the Conference was the adoption of the four Geneva Conventions, on 12 August 1949:1. Geneva Convention on Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, 12 August 1949 (hereinafter: Convention I);2. Geneva Convention on Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked of Armed Forces at Sea, 12 August 1949 (hereinafter: Convention II);3. Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, 27 August in 1929 (hereinafter: Convention III)4. Geneva Convention on Civilians, 12 August 1949 (hereinafter: Convention IV).The Convention I refers to persons who fall under the hostile power and who enjoy protection until the moment of their final repatriation.
The Convention II refers to the same group of protected persons, but during the conflict at sea and it does not specify duration of protection.
The Convention III applies to the protected persons, prisoners of war, from the moment they fall under the hostile power, until their final liberation and repatriation.

The Convention IV applies to civilians in of war from the beginning of the armed conflict (or occupation) until the end of the conflict, i.e. a year after the end of the occupation.
The fact that the Geneva Conventions of 1949 are the international treaties that have been adopted by most of the states proves its universal value.
The answer to the question related to the application of the Geneva Conventions and the Protocols to the Geneva Conventions in the state parties to these acts, lies in the Article 96 of the Protocol I. Namely, the Article 96 reads that the rule lex posterior derogat priori will be applied in these situations, which means that provisions of the Protocols take precedence over the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, i.e. the Geneva Conventions will be applied only in the situations that are not defined and regulated by the Protocol I and the Protocol II.
The Article 1 (which is common to all four Geneva Conventions) has become part of the customary international law and sets the obligation of all state parties to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances.
The Conventions are making a distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts stipulating that the principle of humanity should be respected in all these cases. In this regard, killing, torturing, physical abuse, mutilation, taking hostages, collective punishment, executions without regular trial and all other cruel and degrading treatments, are prohibited.
In essence, the Geneva Conventions basically set several basic principles:- The Conventions aim to humanize conflicts. The Conventions aim to ensure human treatment and protection of certain categories of people (especially civilians) and «mastering the passions», when an individual falls under the hostile power;- The application of the Conventions shall be provided at any and in any place, without any discrimination. The application is obligatory regardless of the fact whether a country is a state party to the Geneva Conventions or not, and regardless of the fact whether the other state party respects it or not;- Victims of the conflict cannot renounce the rights secured to them by the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
Most parts of the Geneva Conventions are not a novelty in relation to the previous acts of the international humanitarian law. The changes can be seen in the Convention I and the Convention II, which primarily refer to provisions relating to the protected persons (the concept of protected persons is extended), medical areas and medical personnel (providing the establishment of special medical zones and criteria for distinguishing between medical staff from other persons) and medical ships (extended protection). However, one of the most significant novelties introduced by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 is the extension of the application of the international humanitarian law to the non-international armed conflicts. Although the Conventions have not dedicated much room to this type of armed conflict, the common Article 3 of Geneva Conventions represents a revolutionary change.
4.1. Serious violations of the Geneva ConventionsThe Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Protocols of 1977 regulate particularly serious breaches of international humanitarian law as serious violations. Violations of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 are considered international crimes and as such, they are defined by the Article 2 of the Statute of The Hague Tribunal as well as the Protocol, unlike the Protocol II, which is considered to be one of its deficiencies. However, the Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998 defines violations of the international humanitarian law in the most comprehensive way, characterizing it as war crimes.
The State parties to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Protocols of 1977 assumed the obligation to undertake any legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for persons who committed or ordered to commit international crimes. The Protocol I even regulates that the parties to the conflict which violated the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and the Protocol I will be obliged to pay compensation.
Grave violations of the Geneva Conventions are:- willful killing;- torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments;- willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health;- extensive destruction or appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;- compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile power;- willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights to a fair and regular trial;- unlawful deportation, transfer or confinement of the protected person;- taking hostages.
Persons who: planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of the crimes; shall be individually responsible for the abovementioned grave violations of the Geneva Conventions. Authorities authorized to prosecute and punish for the grave violations of the international humanitarian law are national courts of parties to the conflict, international criminal courts or national courts of all states, on the basis of universal jurisdiction. Namely, international crimes affect interests of the entire international community and therefore all states have the right and the obligation to prosecute perpetrators of the crimes – regardless of citizenship of perpetrators and citizenship of victims of these crimes and the place at which they were committed.
5. ConclusionThe conclusion that arises from the paper is that basic legal rules that must be respected in the international armed conflicts are the rules of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Protocol I of 1977. The goal of each provision of the aforementioned acts is to minimize casualties in the conflict. The ideal on absence of war has been accepted as totally impossible to achieve, but the international community cannot give up on the request to humanize wars.
After the years indicted above, the history of the international law has entered a new era; the era characterized by new goals and one of the most important goal is the world peace. Therefore, it was no longer just about the safety of certain state, but peace on the international scene. All this was a result of the increasing connection between states on economic, political, cultural and all other fields. All terms relating to peace and security are given extended and universal meaning; free market, political pluralism, respect for human rights and freedom have been introduced as universal categories. The international community has realized that there is no peace as a category related to one state or one nation, but as a term that can be connected only with the entire international community. Armed conflict in any part of the world, in any state – even in the smallest one – represents a risk for the entire international community. Nowadays, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 are almost entirely part of the customary international law. Rules such as the prohibition to attack civilians or civilian objects are rules that are generally accepted as the sacred book for each conflict. International treaties stipulate which acts represent grave violations of the Geneva Conventions, i.e. grave violations of the international humanitarian law. We can only hope that soon, universal rules for all kinds of armed conflicts will be accepted, regardless of whether the conflicts are taking place at the territory of one or more states.
After everything that was said in the previous text, the question is how to improve the implementation of international humanitarian law? There are its rules, but it is impossible to one hundred percent of it in every conflict. Certainly, one of the main ways to improve the application not only of international humanitarian, rather law in general, are these two things:1. Let people learn these rules;2. Set high sanctions in case of their contempt.

First, people need to know which rules must be obeyed. International humanitarian law must be a compulsory subject for study in all schools, especially those for future soldiers. That is the only way to prevent new armed conflict with a potential for plenty of civilian casualties and unnecessary destruction.
Second, there must be strict penalties for those who do not respect the rules of International Humanitarian Law. This primarily relates to the compulsory investigation and prosecution of violations of international humanitarian law. The above must be carried out regardless of adverse political results of investigations. Therefore, the investigation must also include the criminal conduct of military and political leaders in a particular conflict. Today a large number of violators of international humanitarian law who were the head of state or armies are freed from punishment on the grounds of the existence of immunity. However, allowing the use of immunity to such persons means actually to condone further violence in future conflicts. It must never be forgotten that without justice, there can be no real peace.
Every perpetrator of international crime must be punished. The United Nations’ role has certainly contributed much to international awareness of the international humanitarian law, but there is a need to increase their role more. We must not support the view that the international humanitarian law is virtually a dead letter, and can be ignored with impunity.
6. References
1. Appeal Judgement in the Celebici case, No. IT-96-21-A, of 20 February 20012. B. Ivanisevic et al., Guide through The Hague Tribunal – Regulations and Practice, 3rd Edition, The OSCE Mission to Serbia, Belgrade, 20083. B. Krivokapic, Encyclopedic Dictionary of International Law and International Relations, Official Gazette, Belgrade, 20104. Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 19495. Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 19496. Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 19497. Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in of War. Geneva, 12 August 19498. Decision on the defense motion for interlocutory appeal on jurisdiction, Prosecutor v. Dusko Tadic, Case No. IT-94-1-AR72, of 2 October 19959. Foreign Policy News, Ajla Skrbic: Legacy of the ICTY, http://foreignpolicynews.org/2015/10/17/legacy-of-the-icty/10. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 197711. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 197712. Protocol I to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects, 198013. Protocol II to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects, 198014. Protocol III to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects, 198015. R. Provost, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, University Press, Oxford 200416. S. Softic, Legal nature of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Council of Congress of Bosniak Intellectuals, Sarajevo, 200017. „The Official Gazette of the Republic of B&H», No. 25/93, of 15 December 199318. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of 199819. V. Đ. Degan, The International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Rijeka, 200020. Z. Vucinic, The International Law of War and Humanitarian Law, 2nd Edition, The Official Gazette, Belgrade, 2006
– The classification of war into limited and total war has been created parallel with the introduction of nuclear weapons in the conflict, and it was considered that limited wars can be a mean of the state politics. As for the total war, parties to the conflict attack everything that belongs to the hostile power, regardless of whether it is a combatant or a civilian, military or private property. Unfortunately, modernization of weapons enables this type of war. Particularly when using nuclear weapons, it is impossible to limit attacks only to military targets. However, we must take into account that almost all previous wars can be classified only as limited wars, because opponents have not destroyed each other completely during the wars, without sparing material or human resources. Most of the previous wars focused on the goal to conquer the territory of the opponent and not complete destruction of the population. Even imperial wars cannot be classified as total wars, because the aim is to conquer the market, communication roads etc., and the imperial wars did not represent a threat to the national identity of the state that has been attacked.However, there were wars that led to huge human losses; i.e. wars waged for specifically religious reasons in which there were very few limitations concerning the opponent, objectives, space and means. The World War I (WWI) and the World War II (WWII) are perfect examples of these kinds of war, which have started as limited wars but soon turned out into total wars, as per objectives, means and armed forces that were engaged.After the WWII, all conflicts can be fully classified as limited wars, because no party to the conflict and the great powers that helped to one of the party to the conflict, were willing to go beyond limits of the conflict.Given the fact that today’s forces dispose with not only the «classic», but also with a large number of nuclear weapons that could completely destroy opponents in a short period of time, state authorities are acting in a different direction: not to destroy opponents regardless of means, but to achieve certain foreign policy goals, taking into consideration means and consequences. Modern states have signed various acts which set control and limit the use of their military force, because each of the state aims to avoid nuclear war.- Decision on the defense motion for interlocutory appeal on jurisdiction, Prosecutor v. Dusko Tadic, Case No. IT-94-1-AR72, of 2 October 1995, Paragraph 70- V. Đ. Degan, The International Law, Faculty of Law at University of Rijeka, Rijeka 2000, pg. 840-843Article 2 Paragraph 1 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949- Ibid., Paragraph 2- Article 1 Paragraph 4 of the Protocol I of 1977- Hostilities caused when exercising the right of peoples to self-determination are an exception.- Article 1 Paragraph 1 of the Protocol II- The question is whether the international humanitarian law is applicable in cases of newly emerged conflicts? These are the conflicts that aim to establish group identity, i.e. the so-called anarchical conflicts. The answer to the question is yes, because rights of civilians are also endangered in these conflicts. Conflicts that aim to establish group identity imply ethnic cleansing, forced displacement and extermination of the population, while anarchical conflicts are characterized by breakdown of the state structures. Therefore, we can conclude that existence or non-existence of the state structure does not justify non-application of the international humanitarian law. Of course, its application becomes more difficult, but precisely for this reason, there is the need to spread the knowledge about the international humanitarian law in these kinds of conflicts.Article 2 Paragraph 1 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949- Ibid, Paragraph 2These are the cases that include Austria in 1938, Czechoslovakia in the period 1938-1939 and Denmark in 1940.- R. Provost, International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, University Press 2004, fn. 19- Article 1 Paragraph 4 of the Protocol I- More about the legacy of the Tribunal, see: Foreign Policy News, Ajla Skrbic: Legacy of the ICTY, http://foreignpolicynews.org/2015/10/17/legacy-of-the-icty/ (21 October 2015)- S. Softic, Legal nature of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Council of Congress of Bosniak Intellectuals, Sarajevo, 2000, pg. 174- B. Krivokapic, Encyclopedic Dictionary of International Law and International Relations, Official Gazette, Belgrade, 2010, pg. 123 and 308- Supporters of the theory of war as a mean of social progress explain that changes caused by wars actually brought positive development to certain nations in the past.- Article 52 Paragraph 2 of the Protocol I- Article 52 Paragraph 2 of the Protocol I, Article 57 Paragraph 2 and Article 19 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in of War of 1949- B. Ivanisevic et al., Guide through The Hague Tribunal – Regulations and Practice, 3rd Edition, The OSCE Mission to Serbia, Belgrade, 2008., pg. 57- Appeal Judgement in the Celebici case, No. IT-96-21-A, of 20 February 2001, Paragraphs 143 and 150- The protection provided by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea and the Protocol I- The protection provided by the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War- The protection provided by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and the Protocol I- The protection provided by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, the Protocol I and the Protocol II- The protection provided by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, the Protocol II and the Protocol III- The protection provided by the Protocol I- Article 46 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Article 47 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Article 13 Paragraph 3 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Article 33 Paragraph 3 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War- Z. Vucinic, The International Law of War and Humanitarian Law, 2nd Edition, The Official Gazette, Belgrade, 2006, pg. 237B&H succeeded to the Geneva Conventions and their Protocols of 1977 on 15 December 1993 («Official Gazette of the Republic of B&H», No: 25/93, 15 December 1993)- Article 2 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 confirms this standpoint.- Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Article 12 of the Convention I and the Convention II, Article 13 of the Convention III, Articles 32 and 34 of the Convention IV, Article 75 of the Protocol I, Articles 4 and 6 of the Protocol II- Article 1 of all Geneva Conventions of 1949- Article 50 of the Convention I, Article 51 of the Convention II, Article 130 of the Convention III, Article 147 of the Convention IV, – Articles 11, 85 and 86 of the Protocol I

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