eli5: what happens if the Geneva convention is broken? my friend tried to explain to me but I still can’t understand

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eli5: what happens if the Geneva convention is broken? my friend tried to explain to me but I still can’t understand

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In the past, nothing really happens if the victor breaks the conventions until they fall out of power and are prosecuted for their actions in the past. Think japan and Germany. In a more interconnected world though, sanctions(normally financial penalties) are dished out globally and international committees will put in place actions to curb their advancement and economy. Think Russia.

If the loser does it then in theory they should be punished but at that point they have probably lost greater stakes such as their entire country.

To put things in perspective though, almost all countries have participated in war crimes including the US and China. They go under the radar until they don’t.

True ELI5:
You are bullied(breaking Geneva conventions) all through primary school and you want to fight back in highschool. In highschool, If your bully still intimidates you and is stronger, you will be bullied the same and nothing will happen. Parents and teachers(sanctions) might intervene and scare the bully but if your bully smells blood you are screwed until you find the strength(fall of bully) to beat him. Then you sit down with him and go through what happened in primary school and dish out punishment(bully pays you money every year until you die)

If You never become stronger than the bully, no punishment ever and you will remain bullied

Nothing per se.

International “laws” isn’t actually laws as there isnt an executive branch. An international court can announce that an act is a violation but that’s where it ends. Other countries can denounce the act, apply sanctions and other diplomatic approaches (for instance, kicked Russia out of G7) but that’s on each member individually.

Depends on which country is breaking it and how powerful they are. At minimum it will get them a strongly worded letter from the UN. Other countries can impose sanctions or use other tools at their disposal as a form of punishment. If the country in question loses the war some soldiers or top generals can be prosecuted for war crimes in some neutral jurisdiction (like the ICC).

In many cases the Geneva conventions are enforced within the armed forces of the signatories. Those that have agreed to these treaties have also agreed to enforce them as laws within their militaries.

In the United States, for example, doing things that would violate the Geneva Conventions generally violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Those that do so are tried and punished under the UCMJ.

Of course, sometimes there are disputes. In general if a sovereign nation disputes a treaty violation there is no way to enforce it beyond what pressure the international community is willing to bring.