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The Image before the WeaponA Critical History of the Distinction between Combatant and Civilian$
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Helen M. Kinsella

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449031

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449031.001.0001

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The 1899 Martens Clause and the 1949 IV Geneva Convention

The 1899 Martens Clause and the 1949 IV Geneva Convention

(p.104) 5 The 1899 Martens Clause and the 1949 IV Geneva Convention
The Image before the Weapon

Helen M. Kinsella

Cornell University Press

This chapter gives an overview of the 1949 IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which reflected the treatment of civilians during the Spanish Civil War, World War I, and World War II. In particular, after the express horrors of World War II, the international community finally considered creating definite provisions for the protection of civilians. Until this juncture the formal laws of war said very little about the definition, much less protection, of the civilian because the protections and standards of civilization were said to be sufficient. The closest to codification these particular protections of civilization ever came was in the Martens clause. Written by Frederic de Martens, an influential Russian lawyer and diplomat and a delegate to The Hague, the Martens clause conjures its “ancient antecedents in natural law and chivalry.”

Keywords:   1949 IV Geneva Convention, 1899 Martens Clause, Frederic de Martens, protection of civilians, laws of war, protections of civilization

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