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Sir Adam Roberts on the Equal Application of the Laws of War
1 Jun 2009 -  Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy, Senior Research Fellow Centre for International Studies, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford

"The Equal Application of the Laws of War: A Principle Under Pressure"
The ‘equal application’ principle is that in international armed conflicts, the laws of war apply equally to all who are entitled to participate directly in hostilities, irrespective of the justice of their causes. Although the principle faces serious challenges in contemporary armed conflicts and discourses, it has a firm basis in treaties and in historical experience. The rival proposition – that the rights and obligations of combatants under the laws of war should apply in a fundamentally unequal manner, depending on which side is deemed to be the more justified – is unsound in conception, impossible to implement effectively, and dangerous in its effects.