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13 Terrorism and Acts of Terror

From: The Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions in Context

Annyssa Bellal, Stuart Casey-Maslen

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 11 December 2023

Terrorism — War crimes — Armed conflict — Conduct of hostilities — Customary international law

This chapter explores the notion of terrorism in relation to armed conflict and customary and conventional international humanitarian law (IHL). It explains how all parties to an armed conflict are prohibited from threatening or perpetrating acts of violence where terrorising civilians is its primary purpose. Two 1977 Additional Protocols, the 1949 Geneva Convention IV, and customary law reflect the rules prohibiting terrorism and protecting civilians and people who are no longer a part of hostilities despite their direct involvement. The Hague Law complementing the human rights law principles of legality and precaution comes into effect when States lawfully conduct counterterrorism operations amidst an armed conflict. The chapter then recognises the lack of agreement on the parameters of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

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