During times of war, government leaders, the press, international jurists, human rights activists and even friends in casual conversation bandy about phrases like “the Geneva Conventions require” or “that is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions” to explain or comment on events occurring during the course of the armed conflict. But what are the Geneva Conventions? And who is bound by them?
Anne Mahle is an attorney at Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis. During law school she worked at the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California Berkeley (Boalt Hall).