skip to content

Joint Project of the British Red Cross (BRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to update the practice section of the ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law (IHL)

Customary international humanitarian law (IHL) is important in today’s armed conflicts. It fills gaps left by treaty law in both international and non-international conflicts and so strengthens the protection offered to victims. Mandated by the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 1995, the ICRC conducted a study which identified 161 rules of customary IHL and compiled relevant national and international practice. In 2007, the ICRC teamed up with the BRC to update the practice section of the customary IHL study.

Customary IHL database

The aim of the Customary IHL Project is to provide a view into current national and international practice on matters of IHL. The original ICRC study on customary IHL is now available free of charge at the customary IHL database. This database provides rapid access to the rules of customary IHL and enables users to examine practice from around the world. It is updated regularly with new national and international practice.

Since its inception in 2010, the number of users of the customary IHL database has grown markedly. The collection of practice on the database is an invaluable resource to academics, military advisors and other specialists involved in the practical application of IHL.

British Red Cross Researchers

The British Red Cross Researchers are Emilie Fitzsimons (Team Leader), Andrea Farrés JiménezAntoana Nedyalkova and Carlos Juliano Simões-Ferreira who are based at the Lauterpacht Centre. They analyse practice pertaining to IHL and assist the ICRC in updating the customary IHL database.