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Articles on Geneva Conventions

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Judges arrive for the hearing of the genocide case against Israel brought by South Africa, at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, January 2024. EPA-EFE/Remko de Waal

Gaza war: how South Africa’s genocide case against Israel is shaping up

The crime of genocide was first established in law by a Polish Jew who had fled the Nazis and wanted to hold them to account for the Holocaust.
Display monitors show the result of voting at the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 12, 2023, in favour of a resolution calling on Israel to uphold legal and humanitarian obligations in its war with Hamas. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The Middle East and Ukraine: The rules of war depend on the nature of the conflict

In war time, the type of conflict determines what formal rules of war apply. But how to determine the nature of the conflict?
The remains of a rocket that carried cluster munitions found in a Ukrainian field. Alice Martins/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

There is no legal reason the US can’t supply cluster bombs to Ukraine – but that doesn’t justify Biden’s decision to do so

The US administration said that it had received ‘written assurances’ from Ukraine that it would use cluster bombs carefully. Nonetheless, the munition will provide an additional risk to civilians.
Detained: Vjekoslav Prebeg (Croatia), Dylan Healy and John Harding (UK), Mathias Gustafsson (Sweden) and Andrew Hill from Britain, during a court hearing in Donetsk, August 2022. Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters/Alamy stock photo

Ukraine war: prisoner swaps have been going on for centuries – here’s how they work

Five British nationals were part of a prisoner swap with Russia recently. Here’s what international law tells us about the detention and treatment of people taken in time of conflict.
The book includes haunting photos from inside the ghetto, along with its record of the medical effects of starvation. 'Maladie de Famine," American Joint Distribution Committee

Warsaw Ghetto’s defiant Jewish doctors secretly documented the medical effects of Nazi starvation policies in a book rediscovered on a library shelf

The story behind the research can be as compelling as the results. Recording the effects of starvation, a group of Jewish doctors demonstrated their dedication to science – and their own humanity.
Grain warehouse destroyed by Russian attacks in Kopyliv, Kyiv province, Ukraine, May 28, 2022. Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Starving civilians is an ancient military tactic, but today it’s a war crime in Ukraine, Yemen, Tigray and elsewhere

Countries have used starvation as a war strategy for centuries, historically without being prosecuted. Three experts on hunger and humanitarian relief call for holding perpetrators accountable.

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