Update: 19.08.2011

Implementation and Enforcement

The Geneva Conventions and the accompanying Protocols focus firstly on the states and their role in implementing the Conventions. In order to support this and following a recommendation of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Protection of War Victims, which was endorsed by the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995, the International Committee of the Red Cross Advisory Service was established. This offers assistance to states to enact domestic legislation applying the Conventions by providing a specialised structure to assist national implementation.

The states are accountable for the obligations contained within the Conventions and must ensure the adherence of them. However, in modern times it is often the case that those responsible cannot be brought to justice by the state and therefore it is the International Criminal Court which takes responsibility for bringing to justice the perpetrators of the breaches and to challenge the impunity of war crimes. The International Criminal Court was set up in 1998 to prosecute in cases that states are unable or unwilling to prosecute in.

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