International Humanitarian Law: What is its source?


Treaties are the major source of International Humanitarian Law. Treaties are agreements that are concluded between two or more subjects of international law. By these agreements subjects commit themselves to be bound by law. In Various aspects, they can be compared to contracts under domestic law, particularly with respect to the basis and formation of obligations. However in contracts, we can not create new legal rules whereas treaties are concluded to create new legal rules.Treaties are more comparable to legislation. Treaties are also called conventions or international agreements. When the treaty in question is concluded between States, the effects, formation, modification, interpretation, termination and suspension of treaties are all regulated by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, and by the Vienna Convention 1986, which regulates treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations. In terms of materiality, there is a minute difference between these two conventions. Treaties are binding in nature for those states who give their consent to those treaties. This consent is expressed through ratification. Once a state consents to a treaty, all the rules of the treaty are applied to that state and it is responsible for any breach of the treaty. In certain situations, states are allowed to make reservations to provisions of treaties under some particular conditions in order not to be bound by those provisions, while all other conditions remain binding. However, certain restraints are employed by international law on states making reservations.


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