When state support for non-state actors in a conflict is covered by international humanitarian law

From an article by Droege & Tuck, on when state support for non-state actors in a conflict is covered by international humanitarian law.

Depending on the circumstances, State support to one or more of the Parties to an armed conflict may be unlawful under the established rules on State sovereignty

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IHL recognizes the reality of partnerships between the Parties to an armed conflict, such as co-belligerency … It seeks only to limit the effects of armed conflict, protecting persons who are not or are no longer participating in hostilities and restricting the means and methods of warfare.

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…under to the rules of State responsibility, a State may be liable for violations—including of IHL—committed by its partners or allies.

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… actors—State and non-State—that are embroiled in conflict perform functions that have no nexus to the conflict as such and that, consequently, are not governed by IHL

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.. even those actors — State and non-State — that are embroiled in conflict perform functions that have no nexus to the conflict as such and that, consequently, are not governed by IHL.

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… even absent sufficient ‘intensity’ between it and an enemy armed group, the State that acts in support of a Party to an existing NIAC may become bound by IHL. In the ICRC’s view, a State may become party to an armed conflict by virtue of its contribution to the collective conduct of hostilities.

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