July 13, 2020

Why we are “not at war” in the era of covid 19

By Marco Pizzorno.

In these particular days of pandemic, from various national and international sources, the quote “We are at War” has been frequently heard and read on average, this phenomenon, in this first phase of the Covid-19, “seemed” a media distortion, at least for those who deal with humanitarian law. In fact, although it has also been carried out by authoritative sources, it should be clarified that the state of war indicates the extent that the order, both internal and international, assumes as a result of the manifestation of a will for war and determined by the suspension of certain rules and the application of others.

it is necessary to specify that during the “state of war”, when this is expressly declared or implicitly constituted, the law of war -Jus in bello- applies. It, as the legal literature explains, indicates the regulation of the conduct of hostilities, in coexistence and complementarity with international human rights law, (IRHL), and international humanitarian law. It specifically refers to: –The Hague Convention (1907, 1954) and Geneva Convention (1949, Additional Protocols 1977). This use, de facto indicates, is also the suspension of international peace law.

When does the Law of Armed Conflict apply?

The official doctrine on the subject quotes textually and in detail that International Humanitarian Law  applies only in situations of armed conflict. It offers two systems of protection: one for international armed conflict and another for non-international armed conflict. The rules applicable in a specific situation will therefore depend on the classification of the armed conflict.

International armed conflict  

IAC occur when one or more States resort to the use of armed force against another State. An armed conflict between a State and an international organization is also classified as an IAC. Wars of national liberation, in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination, are classified as IACs under certain conditions 

 Non-international armed conflic

Many armed conflicts today are non-international in nature. An NIAC is an armed conflict in which hostilities are taking place between the armed forces of a State and organized non-State armed groups, or between such groups. For hostilities to be considered an NIAC, they must reach a certain level of intensity and the groups involved must be sufficiently organized. IHL treaty law establishes a distinction between NIACs within the meaning of common Article 3 and NIACs falling within the definition provided in Article 1 of Additional Protocol II.

Common Article 3 applies to “armed conflicts not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties.” These include armed conflicts in which one or more organized non-State armed groups are involved. NIACs may occur between State armed forces and organized non-State armed groups or only between such groups.

The Purposes of the United Nations are to maintain international peace in conformity with international law,for this reason, would it be preferable to have a different media expression, up to evident proof of guilt?

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