International Law Studies


This article examines the geographical reach of international humanitarian law (law of armed conflict), particularly during armed conflicts between States and non-State organized armed groups. The issue is operationally critical, since to the extent that IHL applies, practices which are lawful during armed conflicts, such as status-based targeting, may be employed. When IHL does not apply, human rights obligations shouldered by the State govern the conduct of its military operations. The article surveys the various approaches to the the legal geography of non-international armed conflict, arguing that an interpretation by which IHL is not geographically restricted is the most supportable.