International Humanitarian Law….its concept and application.

By Subrata Mukherjee

In love with Golapi, Subratagolapi.

International Humanitarian Law….its concept and application.

Part 1


In this book entitled, “International Humanitarian Law “by the author , the concept and the application of the said law has been discussed at length .

This is a short extract of the original book focussing on the need of such a great law for the protection of the entire human civilizations and mankind from the upsurging armed conflicts , war and large scale destructions and hostilities among the states of the world.

International Humanitarian Law is a major branch of the International Law and intends to protect the innocent people from the ravages of armed conflicts , war and large scale hostilities and also aims to restrict all the means of application of war and weapons on the civilians and innocent people.

This law has a vast domain to include every interest of humanitarian act for the protection and security of all the people of the world irrespective of their nationality.

This law is also known as the law of armed conflicts or the law of war derived its origin and primary functions from the “Law of Geneva” and the,” Law of the Hague”.

The Law of Geneva is designed to safeguard military personnel who are not taking part any longer in the war or conflicts and the law also includes the interst of the civilians.

The Law of the Hague speaks for the rights and duties of the people taking part in the armed conflicts or war and it also warns of their duties and conduct during military operations.

The law is very strict about the application of weapons on the armless civilians and their property and specifications have been made to distinguish between the civilians and the armed combatants.

People who are no longer the parts of the war or the armed conflicts are entitled to get respect and dignity for their lives.

The law has restricted all kinds of weapons on the wounded soldiers or who surrender and can no longer take part in war or fighting.

As soon as they lay down their arms and surrender they cease to be enemies.
Source: publications of IHL by ICRC.

Besides ,the parties to the conflicts are not given the unlimited rights to apply their force even on the enemies during their military conduct in the war.

Formation of the International Humanitarian Law ,the stage before it’s codification:

There were many unwritten rules based on customs and various religious practices that regulated armed conflicts on the basis of several bipartite treaties between the belligerent parties and groups as they ratified the treaties after the fight was over .

From the beginning of warfare to the formation of the present International Humanitarian Law, many code of conduct, covenants and other forms of settlement were recorded.

The first laws of war were ratified by many major civilizations many thousand years before our present day civilization.The reference can be made from Hammurabi proclamation,code of conduct from the Indian epic Mahabharata,the Bible,many texts and code of conduct from the Qur’an.

The 1864 Geneva Convention laid down the principles derived from all such customery , religious , cultural moral and spiritual references of the human history and civilization , set the foundation of contemporary Humanitarian Law.

The Convention also laid down some specifications namely :

1 codification of written rules of universal scope to protect the weak and the victims of the wars.

2. The Humanitarian Law is open to all the states of the world.

To prevent the strong from oppressing the weak(Hammurabi , king of Babylon).
Source: publications of IHL by ICRC.

3. Declared obligatory for all the states of the world to extend care and protection to weak , wounded and sick military personnel and the civilians without any discrimination.

……to be continued in part 2

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