Mock exam 2010
Method / the « law -approach » :
• Specify the question : what is the essence (question)
• Use legal sources
– as a basis for the rules ( legal reference)
– in order to find out whether the facts fit the rules (fit)
• Pro et contra discussion if needed ( arguments)
( either what the rules are , or how the facts fit the rules)
• Conclusion at the end
Question 1 - Qualify the situations
• Question : does IHL apply to the different
situations ( armed conflict), and which regime
of IHL applies to each situation.
• Legal ref : GCart2, GCart3, APII 1(1)+(2)
• Fit the facts : OAG, threshold, attribution for
classification ( link Omega – Beta),
intervention of forces, two parallell conflicts,
A) BEFORE N.Y 2008
• Is there a NIAC?
– « armed conflict »?
• Organization : OAG
• Intensity : «Beyond riots and internal disturbances» APII +
ICC, « protracted armed violence » ICTY
• Which type of NIAC ?
– GCart3 « armed conflict of a non-international
character » (« territory » no restriction)
– APII3 «in territory », « territorial control »
– API1(4) ( always last)
B) BETWEEN N.Y 2008- 10 Jan 2009
• If done by Beta soldiers
– Is there an IAC ?
• GCart2 threshold ?
• GCart2 « between » the HCP ?
– Commentary « intervention of the armed forces of states »
• If done by Omega rebels
– Can the acts be attributable to Beta ?
• overall controll ( Genocide) or effective controll
– Does it reach the threshold for GCart2 ?
C ) AFTER 10 January 2009
• Is there an IAC?
– GCart2 « between the HCP »
– GCart2 « declaration of war » ?
• If straight forward – keep it short and to the
Classification - advice
Identify the different pairs of conflicts
Classify each pair. Question : « does IHL apply to this conflict ? »
– 4 possibilities + no armed conflict
Always start with the legal basics/ source : This is the point of departure for the
legal assessment :
– GCart2 «armed conflict between HCP » ( States)
Mere intervention by armies ( Commentary to GC), Tadic
– GCart3 « armed conflict not of an international character »
• organization ( party)
• intensity ( protracted, more than riots and internal disturbances )
(Tadic and Haradinaj)
– APII art 1(1) « armed conflict between armed forces and …on its territory…territorial control,
– If API1(4) ( only the last question, only if relevant!)
If a given conflict may not be determined because of a factor X – assume the
alternatives, and conclude for all.
If straight forward – be brief !
• Question :status - is the decree in line with the
principle of distinction : are the drug traffickers and
drug producers lawful targets under IHL ?
• Legal ref. : DPH in NIAC ( custom / ICRC guidance) :
– continuous combat function ( member of armed forces of
– civilian DPH.
NB : two parallell conflicts. This question under the NIAC.
(Is the question of ‘combatant’ in case of an IAC relevant?
Does it change anything here ?)
• Do the producers and traffickers « take a direct part in hostilites »? If they
are not , they are provided with targets immunity under IHL, and the
decree will be unlawful.
• Are the drug producers / trafficers directy participating in hostilites
according to APII 13(3)?
– Continuous combat function ?
• Custom / ICRC : War effort in very narrow sence NO
– Civilian DPH
• War -sustaining effort ? NO
– Criteria for DPH :
• Threshold of harm
• Direct causation (link) : But does this include war- sustaining effort such as drug trafficing
– Production trafficking – closeness in link ?
• Belligerent nexus (so designed)
No necessary threshold of harm/ no sufficient link
• The decree breaches the principle of distinction unlawful
• Is this a ” war – crime ”?
Question 3 Legality of bombing of
• Question : is this an indiscriminate attack ?
• NOTE : the question is NOT whether the bombing was a military necessity,
or whether it complied with military necessity! No such general
assessment exist under IHL.
• Legal ref. : API art 51(5) a and b
• (« armed attack » under the UN Charter ?) ad
• Indiscriminate attack ?
– Indiscriminate Method API art 51(5) a)
– Disproportionate API art 51(5) b)
NOTE ! : actual casualty- figures are IRRELEVANT for the
« anticipated » + « expected »
• Military necessity not assesed by IHL !
• Military objective API art 52(2) : only objects
– Object objective
– Almost any civilian object can become a military objective !
• API art 85 (3) / ICC : war-crime
• Manual on Air and Missile Warfare ( custom)
• Question: is the method used to free the
hostages lawful ?
• Legal ref.: APII 12, custom
• Is this hostage-taking ? GCart3 , APII 4(2)
– if Beta attacked ?
– If Omega attacked?
• If it is hostage-taking ( unlawful), can this be
belligerent reprisal ?
– Can NEVER breach the principle of distinction in
• Abuse of protected emblems APII art 12, ICC
8(2) e) ii)
• Absolute prohibition
• Is this perfidy ?
– Ruses of war (APIart37, custom) not prohibited
– Perfidy ( API art 37(1), custom) – prohibited
• Objective : to protect principle of distinction
• BUT IS THIS THE SAME IN NIAC ?
• Avoid repeating facts without linking it either
to the question, to the legal sources or to an
• Do not speculate in facts, but feel free to
suggest necessary parameters ( ex. who shot
down the plain), if it has important