Casualty recording obligations under international law – 2022 update

In 2011, ECC’s predecessor programme published a pivotal and extensive research paper identifying the elements of an international legal obligation to record the civilian casualties of armed conflict. This paper has now been updated to incorporate relevant developments in international law between 2011 and 2022.

The various sources of law drawn upon to identify this obligation include the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights treaties; regional human rights conventions and their associated case law; reports and statements of United Nations experts; and the principles of customary international humanitarian law identfied by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

ECC concludes that the principles spread amongst these sources come together to form a binding obligation on states to ensure all casualties of armed conflict are identified and recorded. Here are the revised Legal Standards for Casualty Recording:

The legal responsibility to record civilian casualties of armed conflict (2011)

The original legal analysis, published in 2011 under the auspices of the Oxford Research Group.

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