of the Charter of the United Nations
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But, UN General Assembly
resolutions in regards of protection of civilians in armed conflicts chooses
the humanitarian law perspective.

So, the instruments of humanitarian
law and human rights law differ in their approach, applicability and object of
protection, but the only thing they share the same objective which is assuring
protection of human beings.  Yet, resolutions of the UN General Assembly
tend to mix the two branches of law and suggest that humanitarian law presents
a set of rules ensuring observation of human rights by belligerents in the
conditions of armed conflict.  

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Humanitarian law and human rights law
apply different rules to judge the use of force, based on divergent
assumptions. Under human rights law, force can only be used by state agencies
if there exists imminent danger of serious violence that “cannot be averted save for such use of force”.  Here, the
intention is to protect the basic human right to life.  Articles 9 and 10
of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement
Officials suggest that, “intentional
lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to
protect life” and “be preceded by a
comprehensible with enough time for the warned to respond.”

 Planning and exercise of an
operation with an obvious intention of killing a person is not allowed and
state agents are bound to purse procedures to circumvent and deescalate
potential violence. Human rights law focus more on interpreting proportional
use of force in regards of the minimum possible level of injury or death. For easier
understanding, humanitarian law regulates foreseeable use of force in order to
minimize civilian casualties, while human rights law peruses every use of force
by the state agencies resulting into loss of human life.

Cordula Droege, an ICRC legal specialist,
suggested that “it would be fairly
uncontroversial to assume that for the conduct of hostilities – that is, put
simply, battlefield situations – humanitarian law is generally the lex
specialis in relation to human rights law”, however, it is not so simple in
the cases of non-international conflict and occupation.  Cases such
as Guerrero v. Colombia (HRC 1992) or McCann and
others v. United Kingdom (ECtHR 1995) held that not only is the human
rights law applicable in these cases, it also requires the application of principle
of attempting to steer clear of violence if possible and if the use of force is
unavoidable, to observe the principle of proportionality. 


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