The International Institute of Humanitarian Law, The Manual on the Law of Non-International Armed Conflicts, San Remo, 2006

This Manual44 was prepared for the San Remo International Institute of Humanitarian Law by a small group of experts.45 The ICRC was invited as an observer.

The Manual is a guide for behaviour during non-international armed conflict. According to the drafting committee, ‘while not a comprehensive restatement of law applicable in such conflicts, it nevertheless reflects the key principles contained in that law’.46

Human rights norms are not incorporated or reflected in the Manual. The Manual uses the same phrase as the San Remo Manual on International Law applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea from 1994: ‘Although this Manual does not deal with human rights law as such, it should be noted that such law continues to apply, subject to any derogations made under applicable treaties.47

The ICRC and Switzerland, The MontreuxDocument on Pertinent International Legal Obligations and Good Practices for States Related to Operations of Private Military Companies during Armed Conflict, 2008

The Montreux Document on Private Military Companies was the result of an international process launched by the Government of Switzerland and the ICRC.4® The Montreux Document was accepted by consensus on 17 September 2008 by seventeen states^9

States and international organizations can ‘join’ the Montreux Document. Its preface reads: ‘The participating States invite other States and international organizations to communicate their support for this document to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland’. As of April 2015, fifty-two states and three international organizations have ‘joined’ the Document and the number of supporting states is growing steadily.5° In December 2014, the ‘Montreux Document Forum’ was established as a platform to share good practices and discuss challenges regarding the regulation of private military security companies (PMSCs). It gathers all participants to the Montreux Document and is currently co-chaired by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ICRC, with the support of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) acting as the Secretariat.

The Document is not legally binding but rather contains a compilation of relevant international legal obligations and good practices. As mentioned in the Document, it does not seek to establish new regulation but simply to provide guidance on a number of difficult and unclear legal and practical points, on the basis of existing international law. [1]

IHRL plays an important and integral part in the document. The purpose of the Montreux Document, as described by ICRC, is to promote respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law whenever private military and security companies are present in armed conflicts. The Document recalls existing legal obligations of states and PMSCs and their personnel under IHL and IHRL and customary international law and provides states with recommendations regarding good practices to promote compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights law during armed conflict.51

  • [1] 6 The International Institute of Humanitarian Law, The Manual on the Law of Non-InternationalArmed Conflicts (San Remo, 2006): 2. 47 The International Institute of Humanitarian Law, The Manual on the Law of Non-InternationalArmed Conflicts (San Remo, 2006): 3. 4® The Montreux document can be found here: . 49 Namely Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iraq, Poland,Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NorthernIreland, Ukraine, and the United States of America. 5° Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ‘Participating States of the MontreuxDocument’, .
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