International Humanitarian Law and Terrorism

  • Sai Harshitha. K
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  • Sai Harshitha. K

    Student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad, India

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Terror is a threat that for years the international community has already been striving to respond to. Not only are the obvious problems lengthy, and also urgent. Terrorism is in no way the handiest option now; a political wing can brazenly increase funds, run schools, and contest elections. The loner with a grudge has a desire to embrace terror, and may be the laptop hacker next door, this has become easy and affordable. At the opposite of the scale, nation-subsidized terrorism takes the area of war. The unfavourable power of terrorism is at the upward thrust, and the maximum advanced societies are the most prone. Moreover, the society isn’t aware about the law pertaining to it. The author in this article has shown light on the what is terrorism, what are it causes and what are its consequences. The author has closely associated the role of International Humanitarian Law with terrorism, the laws pertaining to terrorism and what are the impacts of terrorism.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 4, Issue 2, Page 1113 - 1120


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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


Copyright © IJLMH 2021

I. Introduction

Terrorism has taken many forms since antiquity. From Al-Qaeda to the ISIS, Terrorism has become a way of imposing anarchy against the humanity. The terrorism in postmodern world is less ideological, much more likely to harbour ethnic grievances, perhaps fired with the aid of apocalyptic visions, more difficult to differentiate from others outdoor the regulation. He (or she) is armed with new weapons and experimenting with others, and the use of them is indiscriminate. Even though International Humanitarian Law is a powerful medium for the society to communicate with the perpetrators, many of us are unaware as to how to proceed and what to do. Even today, countries like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan suffer from the radical groups and their stances towards a particular agenda. This propagates hate against the humanity, these organisations have the power to alter opinions of the public at large. Whilst, they claim the responsibility for an attack they have with pride because in their view, it is a victory for those who believe in an authoritative and oppressive regime. nonetheless, measures taken by states to battle psychological oppression regularly present difficulties to basic liberties and the law in itself. States tend to use savagery and other therapies to battle terror oppression, while the legal and functional security powers accessible to forestall torment, Normal and unshackled observation of detainment precision, are frequently overlooked. Various states have localized militant suspects to nations where they face a danger of torment or an infringement of personal liberties, disregarding worldwide lawful commitments to non-recuperation. In certain cases, the autonomy of the legal executive has been disrupted, while the utility of courts to arraign standard residents has subverted the precision of the conventional legal framework. Severe measures were utilized to quietness the voices of basic liberties protectors, writers, minorities, local people and common society. When all is said in done, assets distributed for network projects and advancement help are being diverted to the security area, which influences the financial, social and social privileges of many. This examination is composed with the point of improving the comprehension of multifaceted connection between basic freedoms and illegal intimidation. It recognizes a portion of the basic freedoms’ issues brought up corresponding to psychological oppression and features pertinent common liberties standards and norms that must be regarded consistently, especially according to illegal intimidation. The progression and safety of essential freedoms for everyone and the policies of law is principal to the fragments of the Strategical approach, seeing that opportunistic and outfitted assailant strife the measures and the headway of fundamental freedoms are not conflicting destinations, anyway proportional and usually fortifying one another.

II. Analysis

  • Terrorism: causes, consequences and accountability

Terrorism is usually perceived to allude to demonstrations of viciousness that target regular people chasing political or philosophical points. In lawful terms, in spite of the fact that the global local area presently can’t seem to embrace an exhaustive meaning of illegal intimidation, existing presentations, goals and widespread “sectoral” settlements identifying with explicit parts of it characterize certain demonstrations and center components. In “1994”, the “General Assembly’s Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, set out in its goal 49/60, expressed that psychological oppression incorporates criminal acts proposed or determined to incite a condition of dread in the overall population, a gathering of people or specific people for political purposes and that such demonstrations are in any conditions baseless, whatever the contemplations of a political, philosophical, racial, ethnic, strict or other nature that might be summoned to legitimize them”[1]. The individuals who take part in it may do as such in view of their own mental perspective. Their inspiration might be not much than scorn or the craving for power. Philosophy is characterized as the convictions, values, and additionally standards by which a gathering recognizes its specific points and objectives. Philosophy may envelop religion or political methods of reasoning and projects; this is one of the reasons why terrorism is prevalent. Intimidation is at times seen as a legitimate augmentation of the disappointment of legislative issues. When individuals look for review of their complaints through government, however neglect to win government’s consideration regarding their predicament, they may fall back on savagery. From this perspective, illegal intimidation is the aftereffect of a sensible investigation of the objectives and goals of a gathering, and their gauge of the probability of acquiring triumph. In the event that triumph appears to be impossible utilizing more customary methods for resistance, at that point one may figure that is a superior choice. the Security Council, in its goal, alluded to “criminal acts, including against regular citizens, carried out with the expectation to cause passing or genuine real injury, or taking of prisoners, with the reason to incite a condition of dread in the overall population or in a gathering of people or specific people, threaten a populace or force a Government or a worldwide association to do or to avoid doing any demonstration”[2].  The consequences of terrorism include traumatic experiences, bloodshed, economic duress and anarchy. It gives rise to an environment that threatens the existence of a harmonious society. It triggers vulnerable youth into thinking that it is the one and only liberation. Besides Psychological trauma It is important to address the fact that this has become a choice to people with similar thoughts pertaining to sectarianism. From a common liberties viewpoint, uphold for casualties with regards to terrorism is a vital component. The accountability of the acts will be tended to as criminal offenses carried out by people and a State won’t, on a basic level, be answerable for the illicit behave. Acts establishing basic freedoms infringement are submitted basically by organs or people for the sake of, or for the benefit of, the State. In certain conditions, nonetheless, the State might be answerable for the demonstrations of private people that may comprise an infringement of IHL.

III. International humanitarian law:

IHL is a set of rules which look for, for philanthropic reasons, to restrict the impacts of outfitted clash. It ensures people who are not or are no longer partaking in the threats furthermore, confines the methods and techniques for fighting, it is otherwise called the law of war or the law of outfitted strife[3]. It is part of worldwide law, which is the assemblage of rules overseeing relations between States. It is contained in arrangements between States, in standard guidelines, which comprise of State practice considered by them as lawfully official, and all in all standards. codification of the law started in the nineteenth century. From that point forward, States have consented to an arrangement of functional standards, in view of the severe experience of current fighting. These guidelines find some kind of harmony between compassionate concerns and the military prerequisites of States. The crucial components of IHL are in the Geneva Conventions of 1949[4], practically every State on the planet has consented to be limited by them. The Shows have been created also, enhanced by two further arrangements: The Additional Conventions of 1977 identifying with the security of survivors of outfitted clashes. The others include “1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, plus its two protocols”, “the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention” “the 1980 Conventional Weapons Convention and its five protocols”, “the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention”, “the 1997 Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel mines”[5]. IHL law applies just to armed conflicts; it doesn’t cover inside strains or aggravations, for example, disconnected acts of brutality. The law applies as it were when a contention has started, and similarly to all sides who began the conflict. Worldwide outfitted clashes are those wherein at any rate two States are included. They are liable to a wide scope of rules, including those set out in the four Geneva Shows and Additional Convention I[6]. Non-worldwide outfitted clashes are those limited to the domain of a solitary State, including by the same token ordinary military battling gatherings of equipped nonconformists, or furnished bunches battling one another. A more restricted scope of rules applies to interior outfitted clashes and are laid down in Article 3 normal to the four Geneva Conventions just as in Extra Protocol II[7].  Protection under IHL is for the security of the individuals who are not, or done, participating in armed conflicts and limitations on the methods for fighting, specifically weapons and the strategies for fighting, for example, military strategies. It additionally ensures those who have stopped to partake, such as injured, wrecked soldiers, and detainees of war. These classifications of individual are qualified for regard for their lives and for their physical and mental uprightness. They should be ensured furthermore, treated compassionately taking all things together conditions, with no unfavourable differentiation. All the more explicitly: it is unacceptable to execute or wound a foe who gives up or can’t battle; the debilitated and injured should be gathered also, really focused on by the gathering in whose power they get themselves. Clinical faculty, supplies, clinics and ambulances should all be ensured. The restrictions the law offers is evident, it disallows all methods and techniques for fighting which: neglect to segregate between those partaking in it, for example, regular people, who are not, the object being to ensure the regular citizen populace, singular regular people furthermore, non-military personnel property; cause unnecessary injury or pointless torment; cause extreme or long-haul harm to the climate. IHL has accordingly prohibited the utilization of numerous weapons, counting detonating projectiles, compound furthermore, natural weapons, blinding laser weapons and people killing mines[8]. The world as we probably are aware was and is stood up to tediously, with the savageries of warfare. Groups, collectivises, clans, and states have battled in human development over assets, land, religion, and political frameworks. There have been countless militant conflicts in present day world history or are as yet occurring: Yemen, Syria, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Bosnia, Vietnam, South Sudan and Rwanda – all nations pictured for quite a while the monstrosities of wars and the endured suffering incurred upon individuals; besides, wars show the passing and the annihilation they bring subsequently. People communicate and enter relations, those from antagonistic in nature to helpful. In the case of “McCann v. United Kingdom[9] the British army was expecting an attack by a militant group by the name of “Irish Republican Army” which was supposedly trying to bomb Gibraltar. the Court held that they didn’t hamper the creation of a careful and unprejudiced assessment of the conditions encompassing the killings. As needs the Court found an infringement of article 2 on the grounds that the slaughtering of the three terrorists didn’t establish a utilization of power which was” totally vital” as prohibited by Article 2 as mentioned in the “European Convention on Human Rights”. In the case of “United states v. Rehman[10]the defendants indicted for rebellious scheme and different offenses emerging out of a wide-running plot to lead a mission of metropolitan terrorism. They also aided in bombing the world trade center in the case of United states v. Salameh[11]the terrorists were convicted charges included scheme, unstable annihilation of property, and interstate transportation of explosives. In the cases of “People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran v. Madeleine K. Albright[12] and “Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam v. United States Department of State[13] the court held that associations were unfamiliar and occupied with terrorism. The first case led to a committed advancement, discourse and better comprehension between the individuals and administrations between the US and Iran. In the second case the organisation accepted that they assassinated their former Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi. It is important to know the basic freedoms and provide a direction on guaranteed consistence with common liberties when countering terrorism and to illustrate explicit common freedoms challenges in countering armed militant conflict and terrorism.

IV. The impact of terrorism

Terrorism focuses on the very pulverization of common liberties, majority rule government and the rule of law. It assaults the qualities that lie at the core of the Charter of the Joined Nations and other worldwide instruments; regard for human rights and the standard of law; rules administering furnished clash and the assurance of regular folks and resilience among people groups and countries; and the serene goal of contention. Psychological oppression directly affects the happiness regarding various human rights, specifically the rights to life, freedom and actual respectability. It acts can destabilize Governments, sabotage common society, endanger harmony and security, undermine social and monetary turn of events, and may particularly adversely influence certain gatherings. These have an immediate effect on the delight in crucial common liberties.

V. Conclusion

Terrorism is a crisis the global network has been trying to answer for a long time. Of course, the difficulties this presents are long lasting, but at the same time they are quick. Today, when we turn around the world we are struggling with the threat of Terrorism. Terrorism and armed radical conflict have become a worldwide phenomenon is a worldwide phenomenon, often associated with sheer confrontation; And one that the humanity is increasingly facing. Terrorism invalidates the standards and principles of mankind and undermine the goals and fundamentals of the International Humanitarian Law. The International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is a sovereign instrument at the disposal of the state, while providing protection to victims of inter-state armed conflict – which is complemented by human rights law – against designated non-state armed groups of terrorists. The effectiveness and pursuance of International Humanitarian Law is evident in the areas of power and coercion, with destroying impacts for the recreation of the best possible to presence, freedom and actual respectability of victims. Further to these can make governments unstable, destroy society, undermine harmony and security, and undermine social, political and economic turn of events. These affect the recreation of common liberties. Measures should be taken to guarantee regard for the law. States have a commitment to show its principles to their military and the overall population. They should forestall infringement or rebuff them if these all things considered happen. Specifically, they should sanction laws to rebuff the most genuine infringement of the “Geneva Conventions” and Extra Protocols, which are viewed as atrocities. The States should likewise pass laws securing the red cross and red sickle emblems. the system of counterterrorism measures, endeavors to check and condemn all conceivable immediate and aberrant help to purported psychological militant associations have prompted expanded control and limitation on all exercises, including compassionate exercises, that could in any capacity be viewed as offering help to non-State furnished gatherings or people assigned as fear mongers. Thus, there is a huge danger that such measures, specifically criminal in nature and enactment, may additionally decrease the compassionate associations and other fair associations which need to need to complete their unbiased targets. However, the conflict between universal ideals, personal loyalties and unintended consequences. Whether as people or through governments and different associations, we would all be able to make a significant commitment to consistence with International Humanitarian Law.


VI. References

  1. The united nations high commission for human rights. “Human rights, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism”. July (2008).
  2. Canadian Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 50. (2012).
  3. org, International Committee of Red Cross, IHL. (2020).
  4. org, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (2020).
  5. Kareen Jabre and Norah Babic, Antoine Bouvier. Inter-Parliamentary Union, International Committee of the Red Cross. (2016).
  6. The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (2013).
  7. OCHA services. The Basics of International Humanitarian Law. January 27. (2018).
  8. ADVISORY SERVICE ON INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, “International Humanitarian Law”. IRCR Committee International, Geneva. (2004).
  9. Raymond. “The Geneva Conventions of 1949”. The American Journal of International Law. 46(3). (1952).
  10. International Committee of Red cross,” An overview of IHL”. October 29 (2010).
  11. Roach, Kent. Criminal Law Quarterly, Vol. 55, Issue 4 (2010), pp. 486-507. (2009-2010).
  12. Cóman Kenny, Utrecht Journal of International and European Law ‘Prosecuting Crimes of International Concern’ (2017).
  13. Human Rights Committee, general comment N° 6 (1982).
  14. Christopher Greenwood, “International Law and the ‘War against Terrorism’”, International Affairs, vol. 78, N° 2 (April 2002).
  15. Crenshaw, Martha. “The Causes of Terrorism.” Comparative Politics13, no. 4 (1981).
  16. George M. Terrorism, International Law, and the Use of Military Force. 18 Wis. Int’l L.J. 145 (2000)



[1] Human Rights, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Facts sheet no 32. Pp-7. (2004).

[2] The United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee. (2005).

[3] ADVISORY SERVICE ON INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW, “International Humanitarian Law”. IRCR Committee International, Geneva. (2004).

[4]  Raymond. “The Geneva Conventions of 1949”. The American Journal of International Law. 46 (3): 393–427. (1952).

[5] Dietrich. The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 322. (2013).

[6] OCHA services. The Basics of International Humanitarian Law. January 27. (2018).

[7] OCHA services. The Basics of International Humanitarian Law. January 27. (2018).

[8] Kareen Jabre and Norah Babic, Antoine Bouvier. Inter-Parliamentary Union, International Committee of the Red Cross. (2016).

[9] The European Convention on Human Rights, see, inter alia, European Court of Human Rights, McCann v. United Kingdom, 27 September (1995).

[10] UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. “Case No. 19-cv-1113-PB” United States v. Rahman, Case No. 19-cv-1113-PB, (1999).

[11] US District Court for the Southern District of New York. UNITED STATES of America v.Mohammad SALAMEH, a/k/a “Kamal Ibraham,”Nidal Ayyad, Mahmoud Abouhalima, and Ahmad Mohammad Ajaj, a/k/a “Khurram Khan,” Defendants.No. 93 CR. 180 KTD. 54 F. Supp. 2d 236 (1999).

[12] United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran v. United States Department of State and Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State. 97-1648. 25 June (1999).

[13] United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam v. United States Department of State97-1648. 25 June (1999).