International armed conflict

An international armed conflict occurs when one or more States have recourse to armed force against another State, regardless of the reasons or the intensity of this confrontation. No formal declaration of war or recognition of the situation is required. The existence of an international armed conflict, and as a consequence, the possibility to apply International Humanitarian Law to this situation, depends on what actually happens on the ground. It is based on factual conditions. Apart from regular, inter-state armed conflicts, Additional Protocol I extends the definition of international armed conflicts to include armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination, alien occupation or racist regimes in the exercise of their right to self-determination (Wars of national liberation).
 
See also Application; Armed conflict; Internationalised armed conflict; Non-international armed conflict;

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 BIBLIOGRAPHIC RESOURCES

BARTELS Rogier, “Timelines, Borderlines and Conflicts: the Historical Evolution of the Legal Divide between International and Non-International Armed Conflicts”, in IRRC, Vol. 91, No. 873, March 2009, pp. 35-67
 
BYRON Christine, “Armed Conflicts: International or Non-International?”, in Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 6, No. 1, June 2011, pp. 63-90.
 
CRAWFORD Emily, “Blurring the Lines Between International and Non-International Armed Conflicts: The Evolution of Customary International Law Applicable in Internal Armed Conflicts”, in Australian International Law Journal, Vol. 15, 2008, pp. 29-54
 
SASSÒLI Marco, “The Legal Qualification of the Conflicts in the former Yugoslavia: Double Standards or New Horizons for International Humanitarian Law?”, in WANG Tieya & YEE Sienho (eds), International Law in the Post-Cold War World: Essays in Memory of Li Haopei, Routledge, London, 2001, pp. 307-333
 
SCHINDLER Dietrich, “The Different Types of Armed Conflicts According to the Geneva Conventions and Protocols”, in Collected Courses, Vol. 163, 1979, pp. 119-163.
 
VERHOEVEN Sten, “International and Non-International Armed Conflicts”, in Institute for International Law K.U. Leuven, Working Paper No. 107, 2007, 22 pp.
 
VITE Sylvain, “Typology of Armed Conflicts in International Humanitarian Law: Legal Concepts and Actual Situations”, in IRRC, Vol. 91, No. 873, March 2009, pp. 69-94