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Advanced Introduction to International Humanitarian Law

Robert Kolb

This innovative book provides a thought-provoking introduction to international humanitarian law (IHL). Robert Kolb explores the field through questions which are at times challenging and controversial in order to get to the very essence of the subject and give a fresh perspective. The result is an exposition both of the law as it stands, through its written and unwritten rules, and also of the uncertainties, gaps, controversies and practical problems which have arisen. IHL is revealed as a living tool, an ever-adapting means to an ever-remaining need of protection during times of armed conflict.
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9  Conclusion: the challenges ahead

Robert Kolb


The time has come to conclude this short journey into the lands of IHL. It ventured, at once, into some aspects of general interest and hopefully also opened some less-known perspectives. At this ultimate juncture, the question may be asked what great issues remain ahead of this branch of the law, as far as is foreseeable? The following points may be made:

If some progress is to be made, we must probably hope and act for more than we can ultimately get; however, this action must be grounded in solid craftsmanship, devoid of any illusion or empty pathos, if it is to be taken seriously at all. That is not a dilemma. It is an ultimate expression of the genius of IHL, constantly balanced between humanitarian aspirations and military sobriety.

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