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A convention beyond the Convention: stigma, humanitarian standards and the Oslo Process
University of Exeter
The history of attempts to limit the methods and means of warfare illustrates that agreed conventions can have a wide-ranging standard setting function that goes far beyond their terms and signatories. The stigmatization of certain categories of weapons has been a very important outcome of past deliberations and international treaties. States participating in the Oslo Process to prohibit cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians have an historic opportunity to develop the legal protection afforded from the effects of certain weapons both during and after conflict. This report examines the past role of international debate about the means and methods of warfare in order to underscore this opportunity. It is argued that a strong and comprehensive treaty, that will provide a clear basis for monitoring of practice by States Parties and states not party alike, will provide the best basis for the protection of civilians and for furthering humanitarian conventions for the protection of civilians in the future.
© Landmine Action 2008. Published version reproduced with the permission of the publisher.
Rappert, B., 2008. 'A convention beyond the Convention: stigma, humanitarian standards, and the Oslo Process' London: Landmine Action