Non-international armed conflict
|Non-international armed conflict|
|The law of NIAC applies to all armed conflicts not of an international character. This notion has been authoritatively defined by the ICTY as encompassing all situations of “protracted armed violence between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups within a State”.
This judicial definition implies a twofold requirement of minimum organization and intensity. Firstly, the non-State group must be militarily organized, the indicators of which include the presence of a command structure, the ability to determine a unified military strategy and speak with one voice, the adherence to military discipline, as well as the capability to comply with IHL. Secondly, the hostilities must reach a certain level of intensity, which is indicated by, among other factors, the seriousness of attacks, the extent of destruction, or the deployment of governmental armed forces.
The same criteria of organization and intensity apply in situations involving (or even limited to) cyber operations. However, given that the intensity threshold is relatively high, cyber operations alone will only rarely trigger a NIAC.
Notes and references
- Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions.
- Prosecutor v Tadić (Decision on Jurisdiction) IT-94-1-AR72 (2 October 1995) .
- Prosecutor v Limaj, Bala and Musliu (Trial Judgment) IT-03-66-T (30 November 2005) ; Prosecutor v Boškoski and Tarčulovski (Trial Judgment) IT-04-82-T (10 July 2008) –.
- Prosecutor v Boškoski and Tarčulovski (Trial Judgment) IT-04-82-T (10 July 2008) .
- Cf. L Cameron et al, ‘Article 3: Conflicts Not of an International Character’ in ICRC (ed), Commentary on the First Geneva Convention (CUP 2016) 158  (“In order to determine the existence of a non-international armed conflict involving cyber operations, the same criteria apply as with regard to kinetic violence.”).
- Tallinn Manual 2.0, commentary to rule 83, para. 7.
Bibliography and further reading
- MN Schmitt (ed), Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations (CUP 2017)