The Application of International Law to Wars of National Liberation

The Application of International Law to Wars of National Liberation

BY

Noelle Higgins, Law Lecturer, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University; Ph.D. Candidate, Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland, Galway.


Introduction

The PLO[1], KLA[2] and PKK[3] often summon up visions of fear, indiscriminate death and violent destruction. These groups are viewed in many quarters as dissident rebels or 'terrorists' attempting to undermine legitimate governments. The groups themselves, however, have a diametrically opposing view of the situation. These national liberation movements[4] see themselves as 'freedom fighters',[5] waging a war of national ...

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for both the members of the national liberation movement and the armed forces of the government in question.

Cassese believes that the term 'war of national liberation' was in use in the early nineteenth century,[9] and indeed, the use of armed force by peoples under oppressive[10] regimes is certainly not a twentieth century phenomenon. In fact, Sluka points out that:

There have been national liberation movements since the evolution of the first states. States have proven to be the most efficient of social and military organisations ever devised by human beings for the pursuit of conquest or predatory expansion. The history of states is the history of empire, and from their beginning they spread by conquest and subjugation of neighbouring peoples until today all of the formerly independent nations or peoples have been conquered and included within their boundaries.[11]

The late eighteenth century, for example, saw conflict between American settlers and their ...

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of national liberation.

Chapter 3 briefly discusses the development of the principle of self-determination and the 'internationalisation' of wars of national liberation by the United Nations (UN) and other regional organizations such as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). It also focuses on the consequences of this development at the Diplomatic Conference for the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts of 1974 - 1977 and the 'hijacking' of this Conference by national liberation movements.

Chapter 4 focuses on Protocol I,[13] which was developed at the Diplomatic Conference. This Protocol relates to international ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 6/20/2013 12:42:26 PM
Submitted By: tarique
Category: Political Science
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 10033
Pages: 37

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