Accountability for Violations of the Laws of Armed Conflict: Domestic First, International Second

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


My critical commentary focuses on Victor Tadros’ analysis of accountability for violations of the (revised) laws of armed conflict (LOAC) that he lays out (Tadros 2020). The LOAC play a key function in accountability practices by articulating standards for wrongful conduct and representing a public stance on the kind of conduct that merits condemnation and accountability. For Tadros, accountability refers to a broader set of practices than trial and punishment. He assumes that for now and the foreseeable future wrongdoing in war will be pervasive and accountability for wrongdoing will be rare. This does not entail that the LOAC are ineffective or that there will be no accountability whatsoever. Accountability practices have, for Tadros, two core aims: (1) to make laws effective by making their demands ‘more visible’ and, through this, increasing compliance, (2) to improve law by making clearer for individuals and communities what the law requires. Tadros argues that international practices, rather than domestic ones, best achieve these goals.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberfzad024
Pages (from-to)952-958
Number of pages7
Issue number528
Early online dateJul 31 2023
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023


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