IRRC No. 192

Humanitarian Law in armed conflicts: The doctrine and practice of Polish insurgents in the 19th Century

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Did Poland, whose territory was divided up between Prussia, Russia and Austria at the end of the 18th century and which did not regain its independence until 1918, contribute in the 19th century to the ideas underlying humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts?The political conditions under which the Polish people were then living, while they devoted all their energies to the fight for independence, encouraged them to study and consider various aspects of wars of national liberation. Their thinking was marked by much originality, with some special characteristics that are worth recalling.

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