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where is the battlefield?

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Frédéric Mégret

on 25 February 2011

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Transcript of where is the battlefield?

Where is the battlefield? The origins The Laws of War The vanishing battlefield Technologies Methods ICRC Guidelines on "Direct participation": “The requirement of direct causation refers to a degree of causal proximity, which should not be confused with the merely indicative elements of temporal or geographic proximity. For example, it has become quite common for parties to armed conflicts to conduct hostilities through delayed (i.e. temporally remote) weapons systems, such as mines, booby-traps and timer-controlled devices, as well as through remote-controlled (i.e. geographically remote) missiles, unmanned aircraft and computer network attacks. The causal relationship between the employment of such means and the ensuing harm remains direct regardless of temporal or geographical proximity. Conversely, although the delivery or preparation of food for combatant forces may occur in the same place and at the same time as the fighting, the causal link between such support activities and the causation of the required threshold of harm to the opposing party to a conflict remains indirect. Thus, while temporal or geographic proximity to the resulting harm may indicate that a specific act amounts to direct participation in hostilities, these factors would not be sufficient in the absence of direct causation. As previously noted, where the required harm has not yet materialized, the element of direct causation must be determined by reference to the harm that can reasonably be expected to directly result from a concrete act or operation (“likely” harm).” ? Kunarac, Kovac, and Vokovic, (Appeals Chamber), June 12, 2002, para. 57: “There is no necessary correlation between the area where the actual fighting is taking place and the
geographical reach of the laws of war. The laws of war apply in the whole territory of the warring states or, in the case of internal armed conflicts, the whole territory under
the control of a party to the conflict, whether or not actual combat takes place there, and continue to apply until a general conclusion of peace or, in the case of internal armed
conflicts, until a peaceful settlement is achieved. A violation of the laws or customs of war may therefore occur at a time when and in a place where no fighting is actually taking place. [T]he requirement that the acts of the accused must be closely related to the armed conflict would not be negated if the crimes were temporally and geographically remote from the actual fighting.” General Sir Rupert Smith: in “wars amongst the people.. the people are part of the terrain of your battlefield" “The war on terror has no traditional battlefields, and therefore, even theoretical civil/military distinctions make little sense. Since terrorists are not traditional soldiers but civilians fighting a professional army, they operate from civilian neighborhoods. This forces a professional army to consider an entire country as a seamless battlefield. In fact, since Muslim militants live in almost all countries of the world, the US war on terror has turned the entire earth into one large global battlefield”. Ali Khan, A Theory of International Terrorism “I regret that the front lines of this new struggle have formed through the communities I represent in northern New Jersey and our neighbors in New York City. (...) The battlefield of this new war was Manhattan and Jersey City and Fort Lee and Queens. We are all soldiers."

Mr. TORRICELLI, Senator from New Jersey, September 12, 2001 James McRandle: battlefield as “an imaginary arena in which the bounds are seen to be the edges of the territory occupied by the two armies during the course of the fight” Patricia Visseur Sellers: in the Middle Ages “civil life and battle strife had to function simultaneously”. As a result, “jus in bello instituted parameters and facilitated this simultaneity by confining fighting to the battlefield (...) symmetric warfare with its identifiable battlefields in terms of space and duration did allow, at least in theory, a relatively clear separation of military and political necessities and objectives in the actual conduct of warfare”. "Battlefield law" GC1art.15.2-3.2-3.: arrangement of armistices or suspension of fire “to permit the removal, exchange and transport of the wounded left on the battlefield” or “from a besieged or encircled area”.
GP1art.33.4 “4. The Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to agree on arrangements for teams to search for, identify and recover the dead from battlefield areas” GP1, art.58: “The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: (a) without prejudice to Article 49 of the Fourth Convention, endeavour to remove the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military objectives; (b) avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas;”
Prisoners of war are to be evacuated “to camps situated in an area far enough from the combat zone for them to be out of danger.”
GC4 art. 49(4) “The Detaining Power shall not set up places of internment in areas particularly exposed to the dangers of war.
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