Ending Civilian Suffering: The Purpose, Provisions, and Promise of Humanitarian Disarmament Law

Ending Civilian Suffering: The Purpose, Provisions, and Promise of Humanitarian Disarmament Law Ending Civilian Suffering: The Purpose, Provisions, and Promise of Humanitarian Disarmament Law Bonnie Docherty I. Introduction Humanitarian disarmament, a groundbreaking approach to disarmament that makes ending civilian suffering its core objective, has reshaped the fi eld of weapons law over the past fi fteen years. Earlier in the modern disarmament era, which began in the 1970s, maintaining security was the dominant goal. Treaties prioritized state interests because ‘the traditional unit of security’ was the state. The end of the Cold War made possible the development of a new kind of disarmament law with a humanitarian focus. Its purpose is to protect individual civilians from the suffering caused by armed confl ict. Two treaties – the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions – have embodied humanitarian disarmament. They seek to eliminate the civilian harm caused by problematic weapons. To achieve this goal, they adopted comprehensive and unqualifi ed obligations that refl ect a heightened commitment to reducing the negative effects of war. Three kinds of provisions characterize humanitarian disarmament treaties. First, these instruments establish absolute bans on the use, production, Bonnie Docherty is a senior researcher in the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch and lecturer on law http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Austrian Review of International and European Law Online Brill

Ending Civilian Suffering: The Purpose, Provisions, and Promise of Humanitarian Disarmament Law

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1385-1306
eISSN
1573-6512
D.O.I.
10.1163/15736512-90000064
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ending Civilian Suffering: The Purpose, Provisions, and Promise of Humanitarian Disarmament Law Bonnie Docherty I. Introduction Humanitarian disarmament, a groundbreaking approach to disarmament that makes ending civilian suffering its core objective, has reshaped the fi eld of weapons law over the past fi fteen years. Earlier in the modern disarmament era, which began in the 1970s, maintaining security was the dominant goal. Treaties prioritized state interests because ‘the traditional unit of security’ was the state. The end of the Cold War made possible the development of a new kind of disarmament law with a humanitarian focus. Its purpose is to protect individual civilians from the suffering caused by armed confl ict. Two treaties – the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Cluster Munitions – have embodied humanitarian disarmament. They seek to eliminate the civilian harm caused by problematic weapons. To achieve this goal, they adopted comprehensive and unqualifi ed obligations that refl ect a heightened commitment to reducing the negative effects of war. Three kinds of provisions characterize humanitarian disarmament treaties. First, these instruments establish absolute bans on the use, production, Bonnie Docherty is a senior researcher in the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch and lecturer on law

Journal

Austrian Review of International and European Law OnlineBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

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