Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Schorn

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandy Mckeown

Third Advisor

Dr. Ramon Ortiz


Landmines, Mine Ban Treaty, Ottawa Convention, Laws of Armed Conflict, Proportionality, Distinction, Military Necessity, Unnecessary Suffering


This paper offers a legal analysis of the United States’ failure to join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty under the parameters of the Law of Armed Conflict. The Law of Armed Conflict sets forth the four basic principles that govern the actions in warfare while the Mine Ban Treaty prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. As civilians and children are falling victim to landmines every day, the International Committee of the Red Cross pushed for an international policy change that would help the humanitarian assistance as well as place an outright ban on an entire class of weapons. As most of the world’s countries have signed the Mine Ban Treaty, this paper questions the legality of the United States’ failure to do so under the four basic principles of the Law of Armed Conflict. After a discussion of the applicable law pertaining to landmines and an expansion of the four principles, this paper concludes that the United States is in violation of the Law of Armed Conflicts and recommends that it sign the Mine Ban Treaty.



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