Perpetrator Studies Network


The Accountability of Armed Groups Under Human Rights Law

By Katharine Fortin.

Foreword by Andrew Clapham.

Today the majority of the armed conflicts around the world are fought between States and armed groups, rather than between States. This changed conflict landscape creates an imperative to clarify the obligations of armed groups under international law. While it is generally accepted that armed groups are bound by international humanitarian law, the question of whether they are also bound by human rights law is controversial. This book brings significant new understanding to the question of whether and when armed groups might be bound by human rights law. Its conclusions will benefit international law academics, legal practitioners, and political scientists and anthropologists working on issues related to rebel governance and civil wars.

The book contributes to the debate on this topic by employing a theoretical, historical, and comparative analysis that spans international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and international human rights law. In the words of Andrew Clapham, Fortin’s “theories..… represent a significant contribution to the knowledge in this field and have taken us considerably forward in our understanding of how to achieve greater accountability for human rights violations committed by armed groups”.

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