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Savryga K.P. War on terror as an armed conflict: de lege lata and de lege ferenda

Published in journal "Law and Politics", 2016-4 in rubric "XXI century International law", pages 498-514.

Resume: In the modern world many nations face the serious threat of terrorism. Today, the terrorist organizations often represent a more powerful force than few decades ago, and many of them currently (for example the so-called Islamic State or ISIS) possess military capabilities comparable to some countries, which poses before the global community a question of allowance of application of the paradigm of an armed conflict to the relations on the fight with the aforementioned terrorists, as it gives the state greater freedom of using force against the enemy than the paradigm of human rights. The author studies various doctrinal approaches that characterize war on terror as the third form of armed conflict. In the end, the author concludes that the de lege lata war on terror cannot be considered an armed conflict, since for an international armed conflict the terrorist organization lacks corporate personhood, and for non-international military conflict, the violence that is caused by the terrorist organizations usually does not meet the criteria of intensity (even though there are some exceptions).

Keywords: international humanitarian law, armed conflict, international armed conflict, non-international armed conflict, law of armed conlfict, terrorism, war on terror, international law, non-state actors, state responsibility

DOI: 10.7256/1811-9018.2016.4.15056

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