Rules and standards in the application of international humanitarian law

Many scholars have written about the changes in international humanitarian law in recent years. Many have seen this change in the environment of International humanitarian law as a result of greater application of human rights in this area of law. This article approaches the changes in international humanitarian law from a different perspective, that of law and economics. The main claim in this article is that recent changes in international humanitarian law could be seen as a change from a rule based normative system, to a standard based one. The differences between a rule system and a standard system lie not in the complexity of the norms, but in the questions of who makes decisions and when are decisions taken. In a rule - the decisions are taken before the fact, and in a standard - after the fact. This article then evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of this move from rules to standards, and offers some observations and future possibilities for research.
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