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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Armed Forces

Jean-Marie Henckaerts

Subject(s):
Armed forces — Armed conflict — Combatants, unlawful — Prisoners of war — Conduct of hostilities

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The armed forces of a party to an armed conflict consist of all organized armed forces, groups, and units placed under a command that is responsible to that party for the conduct of its subordinates, even if that party is represented by a government or an authority not recognized by the adverse party (see Art. 43 (1) Geneva Conventions Additional Protocol I [1977] ; ‘AP I’). In essence, this definition covers all persons, irrespective of their nationality, who fight on behalf of a party to a conflict and who subordinate themselves to its command, including...
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