International Humanitarian Law: A Balance between Military Necessity and Humanity

  • Gargi Santra
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  • Gargi Santra

    Lawyer, Pursued LL.M. in International Law from Dharmashastra National Law University, Jabalpur, India.

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“Two armies that fight each other is like one large army that commits suicide.” - Henri Barbusse War is one of those human conducts which have existed ever since the human race started to exist. Humanitarian law is always referred to as the norms of war. A detailed discussion about the genuineness of it will be further discussed in the paper. War is a very general term in its sense. The more legal word for it is armed conflict and the law that governs it is called the law of armed conflict or international humanitarian law. The two branches in regard to humanitarian law are the Hague law and the Geneva Law, when distinguished broadly. Other than these two branches, a various number of treaties are also considered to be part of international humanitarian law but we won’t discuss those in this paper. In an armed conflict, human rights are indeed violated. But it abides by the permissible limit. Since in armed conflict it is necessary to inflict harm on the enemy personnel, this is the reason why the principle of humanity comes into the scenario. This paper shows the traces of humanitarian law in history starting from being not codified to the journey of becoming codified. In the further portions of the paper, the researcher will discuss principles and parts of the Hague and the Geneva laws which deals with the balance between the two key principles of international humanitarian law. Although warfare has three basic lines, land, sea and air, but here, it is only the warfare conducts related to air and sea have been elaborated since the Geneva Conventions do not deal with the aerial warfare conducts.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 3, Page 2914 - 2920


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