IRRC No. 324
The approach of the European Commission and Court of Human Rights to international humanitarian law
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The ever-increasing membership of the Council of Europe, and the accompanying growth in the number of States party to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), promises to create fresh challenges for the new single European Court of Human Rights which will begin to sit full-time in Strasbourg as of 1 November 1998. Speculation varies with regard to the type of challenges that the new Court will have to face, but one which cannot be ignored is the likelihood that the new Court will have to come to terms with more cases arising from situations of conflict. Judge Jambrek, urging judicial restraint and conservatism in a dissenting opinion, warned that the Court may have to look at what happened in the Croat Region of Kraijna, in the Republika Srpska, in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina or in Chechnya. If the Court is so required, many cases may involve issues which call for consideration of international humanitarian law.