Krigere uten rettigheter? Enkeltpersoners rettslige status i ikke-internasjonale væpnede konflikter
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- Forsvarets høgskole 
Abstract. One of the cardinal principles in International Humanitarian Law (or Law of Armed Conflict) is the distinction between combatants and civilians. This principle states that in international armed conflicts some persons are combatants, with the right to participate in hostilities as well as being liable for attack, whereas others are civilians and shall be protected against the effects of military operations. In non-international armed conflicts there is no legal combatant status for persons engaged in hostilities. In fact, all states have laws that make armed opposition against the Government a serious criminal offense. This paper explores the question of individual legal status of direct participants in non-international armed conflicts based on International Humanitarian Law as it is, not as it ought to be. Even without formal legal status, direct participants in non-international armed conflicts have certain legal rights. International treaties provide minimum rights that secure human treatment and indispensable judicial guarantees for all participants. And more important is the development of international customary law to govern internal strife. Non-international armed conflicts are no longer the lawless area that they used to be. But individual legal status is, and will continue to be, a disputed area of International Humanitarian Law as it challenges state sovereignty.