Armed Non-State Actors in International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law: Foundation and Framework of Obligations, and Rules on Accountability, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Armed Non-State Actors in International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law

Foundation and Framework of Obligations, and Rules on Accountability, 1st Edition

By Konstantinos Mastorodimos


320 pages

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The accountability of armed non-state actors is a neglected field of international law, overtaken by the regimes of state responsibility and individual criminal accountability as well as fears of legitimacy. Yet armed non-state actors are important players in the international arena and their activities have significant repercussions. This book focuses on their obligations and accountability when they do not function as state agents, regardless of the existence or extent of accountability of their individual members. The author claims that their distinct features lead to their classification into three different types: de facto entities, armed non-state actors in control of territory, and common article 3 armed non-state actors. The mechanisms that trigger the applicability of humanitarian and human rights law regimes are examined in detail as well as the framework of obligations. In both cases, the author argues that armed non-state actors should not be treated as entering international law and process exclusively through the state. The study concludes by focussing on their accountability in international humanitarian and human rights law and, more specifically, to the rules of attribution, remedies and reparations for violations of their primary obligations.


"This is a useful and careful monograph, on a very topical subject matter. It is presented with analytical legal depth and sensitiveness to practice and its needs. The conclusions reached remain on the whole measured and reasonable - rather than excessively militant. This fact strengthens the impact of the analysis. Overall, a clearly gainful and stimulating reading for all those interested in the law of armed conflict." - Robert Kolb, University of Geneva, Switzerland

"Mastorodimos' monograph is an important contribution to a very topical aspect of international law: the accountability of Armed Non-State Actors in times of war and peace. The author covers all the relevant legal dimensions of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law in depth. The writing is clear and convincing, as are his use of sources and analysis. This book is written for academics and professionals alike." - Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Bournemouth University, UK

About the Author

Konstantinos Mastorodimos studied law at Queen Mary College, University of London (Phd), the Democritus University of Thrace (LLM), the University of Geneva (LLM/MAS) and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (LLM, Degree). He has published on topics relating to public international law, international humanitarian law, human rights law and constitutional law. He is currently employed at the Hellenic Coast-Guard.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / International
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights