August 2006 Vol. 104 No. 8 THE REVIEW

IEEPA's Override Authority: Potential for a Violation of the Geneva Conventions' Right to Access for Humanitarian Organizations?

Jennifer R. White

Armed conflict creates the need for humanitarian aid. International law creates the mechanisms by which parties provide humanitarian aid and creates obligations in connection thereto. The 1949 Geneva Conventions (the “Conventions”) form the humanitarian backdrop against which war is waged. The Conventions establish an impartiality standard in that they grant to humanitarian organizations the right of access to non-combatants during armed conflict. In the United States, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) establishes a Presidential determination standard for humanitarian organizations acting in situations of armed conflict that allows the President to restrict and prohibit humanitarian organizations’ activities without considering their impartiality. Current circumstances present the need for immediate impartial humanitarian aid in armed conflicts to which the United States is a party. Contemporaneous use of IEEPA creates an imminent risk of a violation of the Conventions.

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