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Friday, 18 December 2020

On 13 November and 15 December 2020, the award-winning online Customary IHL Database of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was updated with practice from, respectively, Côte d’Ivoire and Viet Nam up to the end of 2015. This recently added practice is marked in green throughout the database.

A team of British Red Cross researchers based at the Lauterpacht Centre, working in close collaboration with the ICRC, analysed and processed the source material.

The aim of the Customary IHL Database is to provide up-to-date, accurate, extensive and geographically diverse information in the field of international humanitarian law (IHL) and to make this information readily accessible to practitioners and researchers. The Customary IHL Project is a joint undertaking of the British Red Cross and the ICRC, set up in 2007, and updates the practice section of the ICRC’s 2005 Study on customary IHL, which was originally published by Cambridge University Press.

The formation of customary law is a continuous process. For this reason, practice is updated regularly to allow users of the Database to monitor:

  • the application and interpretation of IHL,
  • potential developments in practice and
  • the extent to which the rules of IHL contribute to protection for victims of armed conflict and to the regulation of means and methods of warfare.

Since December 2019 the rules section of the ICRC’s 2005 Study on customary IHL is available on the Customary IHL Database in six new languages in addition to English: Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.