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PhD defence

Towards the Establishment of a New International Humanitarian Law Compliance Mechanism

  • S. Poulopoulou
Tuesday 18 June 2024
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. N.J. Schrijver
  • dr. R.W. Heinsch


International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is primarily monitored by mechanisms external to the IHL framework given the lack of functioning compliance mechanisms under the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocol I. This thesis aims to address this shortcoming by suggesting the establishment of a new IHL compliance mechanism.

By adopting a comparative methodology, the thesis examines the mandate and practice of various monitoring mechanisms within the IHL and International Human Rights Law frameworks, draws lessons learned, and identifies which monitoring functions, approaches and practices could be incorporated into a future compliance system under the Geneva Conventions. The thesis suggests that a future compliance system should include thematic reporting, a Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and an International Humanitarian Law Committee.

The establishment of an effective compliance mechanism that is tailored to the specifics of International Humanitarian Law would support and advance the implementation of the Geneva Conventions by States Parties as well as strengthen the capacity to monitor their implementation from within the IHL framework.

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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