Special Agreement Between

The effective application of special agreements between parties to the conflict was highlighted in the judgment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the Tadic case (decision on the application for an appeal, Appel appeals chamber, 2 October 1995, No. 73). In that case, the Tribunal found that in 1991 the parties to the war signed agreements to apply international humanitarian law to international armed conflicts, and then from international humanitarian law to non-international armed conflicts, when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was no longer officially a party to the conflict. Special agreements can be reached between states and rival armed groups or armed groups. In addition, there is no restriction on the form in which specific agreements can be concluded. The date of the proceedings, i.e. the receipt of the special agreement or application by the clerk, marks the opening of proceedings before the Court of Justice. The disputed proceedings include a written phase in which the parties submit briefs and contain terms of exchange containing a detailed factual and legal situation on which each party is based, as well as an oral phase consisting of public hearings to which representatives and lawyers are addressed. Since the Court has two official languages (English and French), everything written or said in one language is translated into the other. The briefs will not be made available to the press and the public until after the oral proceedings have been opened, and only if the parties do not object. A special agreement provides the possibility of applying, in whole or in part, the Geneva Conventions to a given conflict situation. It is an agreement signed ad hoc by the parties to the conflict.

Its aim is to make the provisions of the Geneva Conventions applicable in cases where one or more parties to the conflict may not have ratified the Geneva Conventions or where, for other reasons, these provisions may not be automatically applicable. These are commitments made by the parties to the conflict in order to supplement their obligations under international humanitarian law and to provide greater protection than would normally be the case in the absence of such an agreement. The written procedure is shorter than in the disputed proceedings between states and the rules applicable to them are relatively flexible. Participants can submit written statements that are sometimes the subject of written comments from other participants. Written statements and comments are considered confidential, but are generally made available to the public at the beginning of the oral proceedings. States are generally invited to make oral statements at public meetings. In order to prevent these distinctions from weakening general protection, Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions, sets out the minimum rules that apply at any time.

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