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<b>Civilians</b>, by contrast, are persons who do “not belong to one of the categories of persons referred to in Article 4A(1), (2), (3) and (6) of the Third Convention and in Article 43” of AP I.<ref>Art 50(1) AP I; ICRC, CIHL Study, Rules 5, 17 and 18.</ref> Any person who is not a combatant must be considered as a civilian.<ref>Hans-Peter and Knut Dörmann, ´Protection of Civilian Population´ in Dieter Fleck (ed), <i>Handbook of International Humanitarian Law</i> (3rd edn OUP 2013) 233; ICRC, CIHL Study, Rules 5, 17 and 18.</ref> In case of doubt as to a person’s legal status, AP I prescribes that that person should also be considered to be a civilian.<ref>Art 50(1) AP I.</ref> Civilians benefit from a general protection from attack.<ref>Art 51(2) AP I; ICRC, CIHL Study, Rules 1, 7 and 25.</ref> Only if civilians are [[Direct participation in hostilities|directly participating in hostilities]], they lose their protection from attack for such time as they do so.<ref>Art 51(3) AP I. </ref>
 
<b>Civilians</b>, by contrast, are persons who do “not belong to one of the categories of persons referred to in Article 4A(1), (2), (3) and (6) of the Third Convention and in Article 43” of AP I.<ref>Art 50(1) AP I; ICRC, CIHL Study, Rules 5, 17 and 18.</ref> Any person who is not a combatant must be considered as a civilian.<ref>Hans-Peter and Knut Dörmann, ´Protection of Civilian Population´ in Dieter Fleck (ed), <i>Handbook of International Humanitarian Law</i> (3rd edn OUP 2013) 233; ICRC, CIHL Study, Rules 5, 17 and 18.</ref> In case of doubt as to a person’s legal status, AP I prescribes that that person should also be considered to be a civilian.<ref>Art 50(1) AP I.</ref> Civilians benefit from a general protection from attack.<ref>Art 51(2) AP I; ICRC, CIHL Study, Rules 1, 7 and 25.</ref> Only if civilians are [[Direct participation in hostilities|directly participating in hostilities]], they lose their protection from attack for such time as they do so.<ref>Art 51(3) AP I. </ref>
   
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Unlawful combatants are persons taking a direct part in hostilities without being entitled to do so and who therefore cannot be classified as POWs on falling into the power of the enemy.<ref>Knut Dörmann, 'The legal situation of “unlawful/unprivileged combatants”' (2003) 85(849) International Review of the Red Cross 45, 46</ref> The legal status of unlawful combatants is highly contentious.<ref>Knut Dörmann, 'Unlawful combatants' in Andrew Clapham and Paola Gaeta (eds), ''The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict'' (OUP 2014)</ref> On one view, unlawful combatants are civilians.<ref>Knut Dörmann, 'The legal situation of “unlawful/unprivileged combatants”' (2003) 85(849) International Review of the Red Cross 45, 72; Rene Vark, 'The status and protection of unlawful combatants' (2005) 10 Juridica Int'l 191, 198; Marco Sassòli, 'Query: Is There a Status of" Unlawful Combatant"?' (2006) Issues in International Law and Military Operations 57, 65</ref> Alternatively, unlawful combatants have been regarded as neither civilians nor combatants.<ref>Yoram Dinstein, 'Unlawful combatancy' (2003) 79(1) International Law Studies 151, 154</ref>
 
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