IRRC No. 321

The Rwanda Tribunal: A presentation of some legal aspects

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If we look back to the diverse origins of the laws of warfare, one basic question which seems to have occupied the early lawmakers was: why, in fact, should there be legal limitations to belligerent actions aimed at destroying a foreign foe? At first glance, any such constraints would appear to be contrary to the very purpose of warfare and thus of no value to those who were either forced to resist an armed attack or who themselves wished to wage war against an enemy.

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