International Law Studies


The "organization" of the non-State armed group and the "intensity" of the violence between it and its opponent(s) have emerged as the two key criteria to determine the temporal scope of the law of non-international armed conflict. These criteria have served to lift the fog of law in some important respects. Yet, several aspects of the temporal scope of the law of non-international armed conflict remain unsettled. This article addresses three of them, namely the assertion that the factors for ascertaining organization and intensity that have evolved in the jurisprudence of international criminal courts and tribunals are indicative rather than determinative, to whom the criterion of organization is to be applied, and whether the requisite level of intensity of armed violence can be cumulative when multiple organized armed groups are pitted against each other and government forces even though the armed violence that arises in the bilateral relations between two opposing parties does not reach the requisite level of intensity.