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Friday, 10 January 2020

On 13 December 2019, the award-winning online Customary IHL Database of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was updated with practice from Djibouti up to the end of 2017. This recently added practice is marked in green throughout the database.

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

In addition to the recent update of practice, 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: Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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 an on-going 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.