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The legal norms of IHL are the product of a compromise between humanitarian considerations and the demands of military necessity.
In Searching for a 'Principle of Humanity' in International Humanitarian Law, international legal scholars consider whether humanitarian considerations have an independent legal impact on IHL beyond the formation of these norms. They ask whether a 'principle of humanity' can be said to have legal force in its own right.
Moreover, the book investigates whether regional or national differences are emerging regarding the import and emphasis placed on humanitarian considerations. For instance, do States which are not directly affected by armed conflict attach a greater weight to humanitarian considerations when interpreting and applying IHL than those States which are more directly involved in armed conflicts? Specifically, this book examines whether a particular 'Nordic perspective' can be identified, owing to those States' unique perspective on international conflicts since the Second World War.