Military Doctrine as a Source of International Humanitarian Law Cover Image

Војна доктрина као извор међународног хуманитарног и кривичног права
Military Doctrine as a Source of International Humanitarian Law

Author(s): Živorad Rašević, Vladimir M. Simović
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Criminal Law, International Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Military policy
Published by: Правни факултет Универзитета у Источном Сарајеву
Keywords: Military doctrine;Humanitarian law;Criminal law;Legal sources;
Summary/Abstract: The norms of international humanitarian law oblige states to include the study of humanitarian law into their military training programs and to acquaint other states with their regulations that ensure their application. In this sense,military manuals prescribing rules for the use of military force are becoming a source of knowledge about the practice of war, which is relevant for determining of the responsibility of states for violations of international humanitarian law and for determining of individual criminal responsibility for war crimes. This paper clarifies the legal nature of military doctrine as a systematized set of publications that regulate, guide, and train participants in armed conflicts. To this end,the relevant rules of humanitarian and criminal law are interpreted.It is shown that military doctrine is an important material source of law and a source of rules of the military profession, and that in the formal legal sense it has a multi-significant nature. First, in international humanitarian law, military doctrine is considered as evidence of state practice, which is used in the practice of the International Court of Justice as proof of state responsibility. In some cases,especially when it comes to Western publications, military doctrine is considered a formal source of humanitarian law in the form of the opinions of prominent jurists, principles recognized by civilized nations, and even international customs. In addition, military doctrine becomes criminally relevant through blanket provisions describing domestic and international criminal offenses. Having in mind the great importance of the rules of military doctrine for the assessment of the legality of the use of military force, this paper proposes certain institutional measures that would pay more due attention to military doctrine.

  • Page Range: 404-422
  • Page Count: 19
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Language: Serbian