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2 Classification of Armed Conflicts

Dapo Akande

From: The Oxford Guide to International Humanitarian Law

Edited By: Ben Saul, Dapo Akande

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Armed conflict, international — Armed conflict, non-international

This chapter provides an overview of the rules by which situations of violence are classified as international armed conflicts (IACs) or non-international armed conflicts (NIACs) for the purposes of international humanitarian law. The chapter commences with an examination of the history of the distinction between these two types of conflict. It then considers the consequences of the distinction and whether it still has validity. The chapter then discusses legal concepts relevant to the two categories, and examines the criteria for the existence of IACs and NIACs. The final sections of the chapter turn to the situations where it is most difficult to classify situations of violence: cases of foreign intervention in internal conflicts; conflicts in which multinational forces are engaged; and transnational conflicts between a state and a non-state armed group.

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