Wars of national liberation were formerly classed by international law as civil wars but are now regarded as international armed conflict and therefore regulated as such by international humanitarian law.
They are armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right to self-determination.
See Non-international armed conflict; International armed conflict;
United Kingdom and Australia, Applicability of Protocol I
United States, President Rejects Protocol I
South Africa, Sagarius and Others
South Africa, AZAPO v. Republic of South Africa
Case Study, Armed Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia (23 and 24)
Germany, Government Reply on the Kurdistan Conflict
Philippines, Application of IHL by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
The Netherlands, Public Prosecutor v. Folkerts
The Conflict in Western Sahara
CASSESE Antonio, Self-Determination of Peoples: a Legal Reappraisal, Cambridge, CUP, 1995, 393 pp.
DRAPER Gerald I.A.D. “Wars of National Liberation and War Criminality”, in HOWARD Michael, Restraints on
War, Oxford, OUP, 1979, pp. 135-162
HIGGINS Noelle, “The Regulation of Armed Non-State Actors: Promoting the Application of the Laws of War to Conflicts Involving National Liberation Movements”, in Human Rights Brief, Vol. 17, Issue 1, 2009, pp. 12-18
HIGGINS Noelle, Regulating the Use of Force in Wars of National Liberation: the Need for a New Regime: a Study of the South Moluccas and Aceh, Leiden, Boston, M. Nijhoff, 2010, 266 pp.
KOENIG Christian, Wars of National Liberation and Modern International Humanitarian Law. A Consideration of the Scope of Application of Article I, para. 4 of Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Frankfurt, Peter Lang, Europäische Hochschulschriften, Vol. 752, 1988, 209 pp.
WERNER Walter G., “Self-determination and Civil War”, in Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 6/2, 2001, 171-190 pp.
WILSON Heather A., International Law and the Use of Force by National Liberation Movements, Oxford, Clarendon
Press, 1988, 209 pp.