Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Christian J. Tams, Antonios Tzanakopoulos and Andreas Zimmermann
Chapter 18: Treaties and armed conflict
The relationship between treaty relations and armed conflict is far from settled. Their coincidence seems self-evident, with treaties regulating inter-State relations, and the laws of armed conflict traditionally regulating inter-State armed conflict. Not surprisingly, the notion of war as anathema to treaty relations originally led interest in the topic to focus on the compatibility of treaty relations with the occurrence of armed conflict. New issues emerged, however, with the expansion of both treaty law and the laws of armed conflict, in particular the loss of the perceived exclusivity of States as participants in the international legal arena. First, non-international armed conflict has become a dominant phenomenon and has been increasingly regulated by international law. Second, while treaties are still concluded by definition between States or intergovernmental organizations, they no longer regulate only inter-State relations. Consequently, the points of contact between treaties and armed conflict have grown in number and complexity. The present chapter considers various areas of intersection between treaties and armed conflict. Armed conflict is considered both as a legal and as a factual phenomenon, and treaties are examined both as a general category and in the context of particular self-contained regimes. Section 2 addresses the role of armed conflict in the termination, withdrawal or suspension of treaties. Subsequent sections consider aspects in the relationship between armed conflict and treaties that are premised on the continuing existence of treaties.
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