EJIL Analysis

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The Application of Human Rights Treaties in Wartime

This year the EJIL has been marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by publishing a series of articles on international human rights law. The international human rights movement was birthed in response to the atrocities during the second World War. It is therefore appropriate to examine the extent to which international human rights law, and international human rights treaties in particular, apply in time of armed conflict. There are a number of key, overlapping, questions which need to be answered in considering the application of international human rights treaties in time of armed conflict. What are the advantages of relying on human rights treaties in the context of armed conflicts? Do human rights treaty obligations continue to apply in time of armed conflict? To what extent do human rights treaties apply extraterritorially? If human rights treaties apply, what is their relationship with international humanitarian law? I discuss the first two questions below and will discuss the last two in a further post…

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