Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Donald H. Wallace
The law of war is usually divided into jus ad bellum (the right to resort to war) and jus in bello (the law during war). The concept of war crimes encompasses those violations of the laws of war that involve individual criminal responsibility. The terms international humanitarian law, laws of war, laws of armed conflict , and rules of war are generally interchangeable. Human rights groups and relief organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross tend to prefer international humanitarian law , whereas militaries typically prefer the term laws of war or international war crimes . In some contexts the term international war crimes has come to include crimes of aggression, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The common element of all international crimes is that they entail individual responsibility. Ordinarily, violations of international human rights norms could lead to requiring the ...