English Discourse Site Menu:

The Geneva Accords:
An Annotated Bibliography
Josey Elliott
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
©Read the copyright notice at the bottom of this page
before reproducing this essay/webpage on paper,
or electronically, or in any other form.

Beigbeder, Yves. Judging War Criminals. New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc., 1991. 1-26. The author states that a set of norms that define the rights and obligations of states, what should be allowed and what should be outlawed, and what the enforcement of violations should be, in order to have a more effective humanitarian law. Beigbeder also stresses the need of an international police to implement these norms. The author refers to international humanitarian law as "soft law," which is an imperfect law that sets norms, but relies on those states to respect and abide by the laws. The author supports his argument of the need for an international police and court with many examples which occurred in the Twentieth Century. Although the author gives the important information, the reader of this book should have some knowledge of Twentieth Century World History. The author's strong opinions are the backbone of his book and create an obvious frame of mind.

Bruderlein, Claude and Jennifer Leaning. "New Challenges for Humanitarian Protection." British Medical Journal 319.7207 (1999): 430-35. In 1949, the Geneva Convention set ways to protect civilians from militant groups. In today's society, many "irregular armies" are targeting civilians. Different approaches must be made in order to create strategies to protect civilians in today's "fundamentally flawed" international law. Three strategies have been formed by human rights organizations: reasserting the role of international humanitarian law, expanding the scope of humanitarian protection, and diversifying the implementation strategies of humanitarian protection. Although this article is written for people in the medical profession, it has some very insightful statements. The article can be easily read, but at some points, some background of humanitarian protection is needed for comprehension.

Bugnion, Francois. "The Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949: From the 1949 Diplomatic Conference to the Dawn of the New Millennium." International Affairs 76.1 (2000): 41-50. The author gives three major points of the fourth Geneva Convention. The convention met as a response to the devastation brought by World War II. Since 1949, most wars have been civil wars (non-international), which is only acknowledged by Article 3 of the convention. Two Protocols were added in the 1970s. The author mentions the consequences of the protocols. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suffered losses in attempts to continue humanitarian operations despite insecurity. The author discusses many ways to improve the respect for Geneva Conventions. Further, the author also urges the international community to uphold the Geneva Conventions. Bugnion seems very approving of how the ICRC has handled many conflicts. This article is very helpful for its informative background information about the Geneva Conventions, as well as the author's theories of future modifications of the Conventions.

Dworkin, Anthony, Steven R. Ratner, and Michael Schmitt. "Rethinking the Geneva Conventions." Crimes of War Project. 30 January 2003. 9 October 2004 <http://crimesofwar.org/expert/genevaConventions/gc-intro.html> This combined work has two major arguments within it. The argument shared by two writers is that the Geneva Conventions cannot address today's organized violence. The wars of today show the weaknesses of the Conventions. Ratner believes that the laws stated should be observed as basic principles of international humanitarian law. He believes that there is no need for a new protocol, but instead there is a need for an international standard that sets limits. Michael Schmitt believes that information stated in the first Additional Protocol of the Conventions needs revising to be clearer. The website is a good source for information on violations and crimes that occur during war. The introduction of the work is easy to comprehend and establishes a sense of position for each author.

Johnson, James Turner. "Maintaining the Protection of Non-Combatants." Journal of Peace Research 37.4 (2000): 421-48. The author argues that people are morally obligated to protect non-combatants in armed conflicts. Johnson supports his argument by explaining the problems that exist in today's armed conflicts. He believes that one of the main reasons is because that there are no real definitions of direct versus indirect harm. The attack may be intended or it may not be. The author also uses examples from the conflicts between the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda-Zaire and between Bosnia and Kosovo to support his claims. The article is very difficult to read, and the author uses legal Latin terms throughout the article. The intended audience for this article is the very educated public.

Meron, Theodor. "Prisoners of War, Civilians and Diplomats in the Gulf Crisis." The American Journal of International Law 85.1 (1991): 104-09. Iraq violated the Geneva Conventions when it did not account for Kuwaiti prisoners of war (POWs) during the Gulf War. The POWs were denied correspondence, relief shipments, and protection from the ICRC. The international community did not react to the Kuwaiti prisoners and their fate being unknown. Iraq also violated laws in the fourth Geneva Convention, which said civilians are "protected persons." The ICRC had failed to get involved when these laws were breached, and the author is rather critical of this. The author gives an account in reaction to the Gulf War, which occurred almost fifteen years ago. Meron states that he is uncertain of the future of "humanitarian norms," which today, people can see the results of Iraq's actions, as well as the actions not taken by the ICRC. The article is fairly difficult to read and is full of terms used in international law.

Murphy, Sean D. "U.S. Abuse of Iraqi Detainees at Abu Ghraib Prison." The American Journal of International Law 98.3 (2004): 591-96. The 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of Prisoners of War states that prisoners should be humanely treated and not tortured in order to receive information. The United States is both a party of this and the Convention Against Torture. Reports of the U.S. breaking these laws have been from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the U.S. has sent POWs from its war on terrorism; and Abu Ghraib prison, the largest detention facility outside of Baghdad, from which seven military police officers were charged with conspiracy, dereliction of duty, cruelty, maltreatment, assault, and indecent acts. The author seems critical of the United States government's reactions to these acts and believes that the U.S. should be abiding by the rules of international humanitarian law. The article is rather easy to read, since the occurrences are recent and have been reported all over many news publications and television shows.

Panovski, Damjan. "Some War Crimes Are Not Better Than Others: The Failure of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to Prosecute War Crimes in Macedonia." Northwestern University Law Review 98.2 (2004): 623-55. The author states that the numerous human rights violations that occurred in Macedonia were shocking. Panovski analyzes the United Nations' role in international affairs and how it created the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The ICTY has three additional requirements to the Geneva Conventions that apply to international armed conflict, the parties involved in the conflict, and the protected persons. The author then states that the Tribunal has violated the United Nations' Charter by not prosecuting Albanians in Macedonia. The Tribunal as also violated many other statutes which include the Security Council Mandate, its own statute, and its own mandatory duty. The author is very thorough in stating the benefits of the ICTY and is extremely critical in how the Tribunal has violated its laws. The readers of this article should be well-educated in international law.

Ross, James D. "Promoting Human Rights." Ethics and International Affairs 16.2 (2002): 27-32. James D. Ross explains that September 11 has affected the world by stressing the values of international humanitarian law. Because of this day, human rights issues are violated more often than they were before. Humans Rights Watch is trying to find ways to treat these breaches of conduct. Boundaries of human rights protection will be tried more and more once the wars begin to expand globally. The author mentions that because of a "new kind of war," issues pertaining to international legal obligations need to be better addressed. Ross is also critical of President Bush's administration, and how he believes it has adopted a "pick-and-choose approach" to certain prisoners and their rights drawn out by the Geneva Conventions. The article is difficult to read and is geared toward the educated people who have paid attention to world events over the last ten years.

Sultan, Hamed. "The Islamic Concept." International Dimensions of Humanitarian Law. Paris: Unesco, 1988. 29-39. This chapter explains the views of international humanitarian law through the eyes of the Islamic nations. The author first explains the differences of Islamic legal order compared to the legal order of most nations. Sultan states that in the Islamic concept of international humanitarian law, there is no distinction between the various types of armed conflict. Also, a rule of this law concerns the prohibition of mutilation or torture of enemies in war. The concepts of international law are essentially based on the basic rule of warfare according to Islam. Sultan provides information that shows no bias. His views are strictly stated to inform the public from pre-conceived notions of Islamic concept. The work is fairly hard to read, and those who read it should be already somewhat educated in international law and the religion of Islam.

Search English Discourse
WWW English Discourse

Copyright notice: this page will hereafter be referred to as the essay/webpage. All rights to the essay/webpage are held by its author. You may hyperlink to the essay/webpage electronically and without notifying either English Discourse—the e-journal or the author of the essay/webpage, but hyperlinks are allowed only for non-commercial and educational use. The essay/webpage may not otherwise be reproduced in hard-copy, electronically, or any other form, unless the written permission of its author is obtained prior to such reproductions. If you do link to the essay/webpage, part of the text in the hyperlink must contain the words "English Discourse—the e-journal".

You may quote from the essay/webpage, but only if the author and English Discourse—the e-journal are unmistakably cited in parenthetical citations and works cited page, endnotes, footnotes, bibliography page, or references page citations.

You may not otherwise copy or transmit the contents of the essay/webpage either electronically or in hard copies. You may not alter the content of the essay/webpage in any manner. If you are interested in using the contents of the essay/webpage in any manner except as described above, please contact "webmaster" at "englishdiscourse.org" for information on publishing rights, and the editor will arrange contact between your organization and the author of the essay/webpage. English Discourse—the e-journal, suggests that such emails should include a subject heading that reads "editorial contact," or "publishing rights." English Discourse—the e-journal will not act as an agent or accept any fees. The essay/webpage is the intellectual property of its author, who retains sole rights. The author has merely granted permission for English Discourse—the e-journal to publish the essay/webpage.