IRRC No. 882

The protective scope of Common Article 3: more than meets the eye

Reading time 14 min read
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Non-international armed conflicts are not only prevalent today, but are also evolving in terms of the types that have been observed in practice. The article sets out a possible typology and argues that Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions may be given an expanded geographical reading as a matter of treaty law. It also suggests that there is a far wider range of rules – primarily of a binding nature, but also policybased – that apply in Common Article 3 armed conflicts with regard to the treatment of persons in enemy hands and the conduct of hostilities.

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