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Internationalized Armed Conflicts in International Law$
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Kubo Macak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198819868

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198819868.001.0001

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Historical Development

Historical Development

(p.129) 5 Historical Development
Internationalized Armed Conflicts in International Law

Kubo Mačák

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the access to combatant status by members of non-state armed groups from a historical perspective. It demonstrates that practically since the time the distinction between combatants and non-combatants had solidified into law, the applicable rules have permitted members of at least some non-state armed groups to benefit from combatant status. At various times in the history of regulation of armed conflicts, these groups have included militias and volunteer corps, armed forces professing allegiance to a non-recognized governmental authority, and national liberation movements. Overall, the historical analysis presented in this chapter suggests that it would be erroneous to interpret the rules on eligibility for combatancy in the context of internationalized armed conflicts in an unduly restrictive manner.

Keywords:   combatant status, fighters, internationalized armed conflict, militias, national liberation movements, non-state actors, volunteer corps

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