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The relationship between human rights and humanitarian law is one of the most contentious topics in the history of international law. Most scholars studying their foundations argue that these two fields of law developed separately until the 1960s. This article, by contrast, reveals a much earlier cross-fertilization between these disciplines. It shows how “human rights thinking” played a critical generative role in transforming humanitarian law, thereby creating important legacies for today's understandings of international law in armed conflict.
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