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Detention Operations in Contemporary Conflicts: Four Challenges for the Geneva Conventions and Other Existing Law

Authors: John B. Bellinger III, Adjunct Senior Fellow for International and National Security Law, and Vijay Padmanabhan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
April 2011
American Journal of International Law


States engaged in conflicts with nonstate groups confront difficult legal questions relating to detention: (1) who is subject to detention, (2) what process must be provided, (3) when does the right to detain terminate, and (4) what legal obligations exist in connection with repatriation at the end of the conflict? This article demonstrates that the Geneva Conventions and other international and municipal law inadequately answer these questions. It then identifies areas of convergence that may form the basis for future legal development.

This article is reproduced with permission from the April 2011 issue of the American Journal of International Law © 2011 American Society of International Law. All rights reserved.

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