3 Combatants and Non-combatants
Edited By: Dieter Fleck
- 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...