Casualty recording obligations under international law

This pivotal and extensive research paper identifies the elements of an international legal obligation to record the civilian casualties of armed conflict.

The various sources of law drawn upon to identify this right include the Geneva Conventions; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and other human rights instruments; reports and statements of the United Nations; case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; and the principles of customary international law.

When placed in the context of casualty recording, the principles spread amongst these instruments and sources come together naturally to form a binding obligation on states. The findings of this report indicate that a move towards establishing a systematic mechanism of casualty recording in all theatres of armed conflict is necessary and required by law.