This part of the database contains the 161 rules of customary international humanitarian law (IHL) identified in volume I (rules) of the ICRC’s study on customary IHL, originally published by Cambridge University Press in 2005.

While comprehensive, the study does not purport to be an exhaustive assessment of customary IHL.

The rules remain the same as in 2005.

They can be accessed on the database in two ways:

This part of the database is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

The practice underlying the rules can be found in part 2. Practice of the database, in English.

Volume I (rules) of the study can also be purchased or downloaded as PDF (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish).

To order volume I in English, please contact Cambridge University Press (

To order it in French, please contact Groupe Larcier (

To order it in Chinese, please contact Law Press China (