RICR No. 850

Dix ans après la création du Tribunal pénal international pour l'ex-Yougoslavie: évaluation de l'apport de sa jurisprudence au droit international humanitaire

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AbstractThe initial uncertainties as to the eventual capacity of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to accomplish its mandate can definitively he relegated to the archives of history and the creation of this Tribunal be heralded as a major step in the quest to develop mechanisms to impkment inter-national humanitarian hw. But after ten years of enstence, it appears that the role of the Tribunal cannot be limited to the mere enforcement of international humanitarian hw: while exercising its repressive function, the Tribunal has been interpreting this complex area of hw and — in so doing — has greatly contributed to a more progressive vision of international humanitarian law. The aim of this article is to briefly set out the more important contributions of this judicial hermeneutic reading of international humanitarian fow.It is argued that the Tribunal contributed to international humanitarhn Law in three ways, which interact with each other: first, by affirming the customary nature of a certain number of principles; second, by reducing the substantive gap separating the rules applicable to international versus non-international armed conflicts; and finally, by adapting international humanitarian law to modern realities through a liberal interpretation of certain rehtively old provisions of humanitarian treaties.

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