Unprivileged Belligerents: 'You Can't Tell the Players Without a Scorecard'   [open pdf - 394KB]

From thesis the abstract: "The current 'war on terror', has showcased a gap in international law. The proper handling of persons who are not members of sovereign militaries, and who do not conduct themselves in accordance with accepted practices for the conduct of military operations, such as the Taliban or Al Qaeda, are critical issues. The international community has recognized that there are individuals on battlefields who are neither lawful combatants nor civilians. However, neither treaty-based nor customary international humanitarian law (IHL) has defined who they are or the treatment they should receive upon capture. Throughout history, however, these persons have existed and have been labeled in various ways: unprivileged belligerents, unlawful enemy combatants, terrorists, spies, brigands, and a host of other descriptions. This paper will explore the proper treatment of unprivileged belligerents under international humanitarian law. The essay will attempt further to define this person under international law, and argue for a new international convention to deal with that person."

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