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3 Combatants and Non-combatants

Knut Ipsen

From: The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (3rd Edition)

Edited By: Dieter Fleck

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From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 24 February 2024

Combatants — Principle of distinction — Armed conflict — Prisoners of war
1. International law regarding persons taking part in or affected by an international armed conflict makes a fundamental distinction between combatants and civilians, a distinction being the leading principle and the unchangeable core of international humanitarian law applicable in international armed conflicts.1 This distinction determines the international legal status of these two categories. They indicate the primary status of persons in the event of an international armed conflict. The acquisition of a new, secondary status is linked to this primary status...
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