It is the aim of this thesis to analyze the international humanitarian law which is
applicable to wars of national liberation and to discuss the protection afforded thereby
to both civilians and those involved in combat. Four chapters are presented that specifically address traditional international law; development of international humanitarian law through adoption of the Geneva Conventions; development of the principle of self-determination and the ‘internationalism’ of wars of national liberation; and the results of Protocol 1 regarding international conflict. This thesis ultimately seeks to illustrate that the international community has failed, despite the various provisions which could, in theory, apply to wars of national liberation, to properly implement the international humanitarian law in these types of conflicts.