New ICRC database launched to enhance protection for war victims

The new customary international humanitarian law database features 50 per cent more content than the original study – a printed version would run to more than 8,000 pages. Divided into two parts, the first includes 161 rules which the original study assessed to be of customary nature. The second part contains the practice on which the conclusions in part one are based. The database offers practitioners and academics easy access to the rules of customary international humanitarian law identified in the ICRC study and gives them the opportunity to investigate underlying practice by means of three search parameters: subject matter, type of practice and country.

The database also contains new international materials, in particular international case law and United Nations material up until the end of 2007. As the formation of customary international humanitarian law is an ongoing process, regular updates, including of national practice, will be provided on the basis of contributions by ICRC delegations and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which will be processed by a team of lawyers based at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge.

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