To the eyes of its most devout advocates, humanitarian international law did reach all of its objectives, as shown by the study recently published under the supervision of ICRC. On the field, facts do not confirm the validity of this assumption. There remains a general uncertainty on the scope of customary and conventional rules. When the highest international jurisdictions have to implement these, they often content themselves with considerations of principle without daring to draw practical consequences. Humanitarian law seems to be a shifting paradox : if it is enforced, it is always in the hope of reciprocity, and when the recent sophistication of armaments allows considering, for instance, a better protection for non-fighters, its implementation becomes a tool for propaganda.