The international humanitarian law applicable in the new types of armed conflicts

AuthorNicolae David Ungureanu
PositionPublic Law Department, 'Alexandru Ioan Cuza' Police Academy Bucharest, Romania
AGORA International Journal of Juridical Sciences, www
ISSN 1843-570X, E-ISSN 2067-7677
No. 4 (2014), pp. 184-195
N. D. Ungureanu
Nicolae David Ungureanu
Public Law Department
“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Police Academy Bucharest, Romania
*Correspondence: Nicolae David Ungureanu, Police Academy Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Aleea
Privighetorilor 1-3, Bucharest, Romania
The international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts has evolved
continuously since antiquity until today, its doctrinal writings pointing out during the modern
period the influence that the progress of the concepts and the practices of war has had on the
development of the normative conventions, especially the first and second world war, resulting
in texts that are applicable even today.
Keywords: international humanitarian law, international relations, peace,
A careful look at the reality of the international life at the beginning of the 21
will easily re veal the accelerated dynamic of the changes that have occurred in the process of
using armed force in order to achieve some specific interests of the various international, supra
state, state and intrastate actors, with all the humanitarian consequences, beneficial or
disastrous, that have resulted from these practices.
With the aim of improving the human condition during an armed conflict, the
international humanitarian law drawn up until the end of the 20
century seems no longer able
to handle the challenges arising from the transformations occurring in the modalities of using
organized armed violence. The continuation of politics by other means, as Ca rl von
Clausewitz characterized it, the war remains for many a painful necessity even nowadays,
modifying his peculiarities in a chameleonic way, exactly for which it is required, more and
more insistently, the adaptation of the international humanitarian law with the new types of
armed conflicts; increasingly, there are being re ported in the specialty literature the references
to discrepancies betwee n the international traditional law, the classic law of war and the rapid
developments of the modern means and methods of fi ghting at a strategic and tactical level,
more and more unconventional and without explicit legal regulations in the legislative acts in
the field.
On the other hand, there are highlighted the slower normat ive developments of
humanitarian international law after the great encoding achieved in 1977, so that it has not
been able to keep up with the developments of the conflicting practices of international
relations. The explanation proposed by a great Romanian specialist in this field is that
„experience shows that any new and progressive norm, in international relations, makes its
way with difficulty, encountering numerous obstacles”
; indeed, concrete life and work at the
international level are evolving faster than their legal regulations, being needed sustained
efforts at institutional, jurisprudential and doctrinaire level in order to react to the new threats
and r isks to the international peace and security, after which, new threats arise again, which
D. Mazilu, Dreptul pcii, Academica Publishing House, Buchares t, 1983, p. 31.

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