While there exist distinct points of difference, principles of international human rights laws and international humanitarian law overlap on multiple occasions. It is both interesting and informative to understand the differences and similarities in these principles between the two. Differences include underlying intention behind formulation, range of application and effect on different parties while similari underlying enactment ties include general principles The researcher attempts to analyse these aspects by first delving into the points of distinction and then move on to the coinciding issues in both. Finally, a conclusion encompassing the law as it stands today with ...view middle of the document...
These rights also stem from conventional and customary international law. International human rights law envisages the preservation of a number of core principles which find codification in the form of treaties like the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1996, as well as Conventions on Genocide (1948), Racial Discrimination (1965), and Torture (1984). The onus of protecting these rights such as right to life and dignity and right against racial discrimination and torture is on the state. The states not only have the burden of protecting the rights of their own citizens but can also call upon other nations to adhere to these basic standards of human rights.
In terms of intention, international human rights law primarily targets the inclusion of certain basic human rights into the governance of states as routine practice and has a much broader area of application. In other words, the idea is to infuse organic change on a global level. Humanitarian law on the other hand has a much more limited area of influence. It tries to ensure some basic standard of humanity during times of war so that human rights aren’t completely neglected in such times of armed conflict.
It must be kept in mind however, that international human rights law applies during peacetime as well as conflict. Only in times of emergency or immitigable circumstances that countries may not act according to the provisions of international humanitarian law. However, even in such times, human rights like the right to life cannot be derogated. This clearly illustrates the overarching
Points of Similarity
Having established that certain human rights are to be guaranteed to citizens in all situations, it would not be incorrect to state that IHL and IHRL can have a symbiotic relationship and can act simultaneously. This proposition has gained currency over the years despite apprehensions that the two branches of law suffer from fundamental differences and cannot coexist. However, despite such apprehension, a more functional approach to the problem can be found in the form of ‘lex sepcialis’. According to this principle, the similarities between the two laws can be used to enforce each other and therefore create room of peaceful coexistence.
Even a cursory glance at Article 31 (3) (c) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 1969 provides much clarity...