IRRC No. 238

Some Reflections on the Future of International Humanitarian Law

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The four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims and the two 1977 Additional Protocols are the written sources of modern international humanitarian law. This monumental work of some 600 articles represents an impressive investment of intellect, arduous political negotiation, financial resources and goodwill. Modern written international humanitarian law is the result of one of the greatest efforts of successive legal codifications we know of. And, of course, customary law supplements the written rules to a substantial extent.

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