The Right to Life in Armed Conflict: Reflections on the Human Rights Committee’s Draft General Comment 36
In August 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) presented the revised text of Draft General Comment 36 on the right to life (Draft GC 36), which offers an in-depth reading of Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR or the Covenant). In discussing the protection of the right to life in situations of armed conflict, the HRC considers the relationship between the Covenant and International Humanitarian Law (IHL) (see here for an earlier commentary). In this post, I will analyse the HRC’s general approach to the interplay between the ICCPR and IHL, and look at how this is applied to the regulation of the use of force in armed conflicts. In particular, I will comment on the HRC’s failure to distinguish between the paradigms of the conduct of hostilities and law enforcement, which risks to undermine the protection of the right to life provided by the Covenant.