Legal Avenues for Ending Impunity for the Death of Journalists in Conflict Zones: Current and Proposed International Agreements

Kayt Davies, Emily Crawford


Every bullet that kills a journalist in a warzone adds passion and urgency to calls for “something” to be done to better protect frontline media workers. International humanitarian law (the body of law that includes the Geneva Conventions) offers some avenues for legal redress, but problems with compliance and policing have contributed to a sense of impunity among perpetrators of these crimes. Consequently, calls for additional laws have re-emerged. This article analyzes the current legal protections, examines a proposed new international convention, and discusses obstacles to ending impunity. It also analyzes whether a new convention would be a useful addition to international law and concludes that advocacy energies would be better spent promoting enforcement of existing laws.


IHL, ICRC, LOAC, International Humanitarian Law, journalism, Press Emblem Campaign, media, combat zones, impunity

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