In the European Union, asylum-seekers not only have the opportunity to apply for refugee status, but also for subsidiary protection when risking serious harm if sent back to their country of origin. This form of complementary protection is granted, inter alia, to those fleeing indiscriminate violence stemming from international or internal armed conflicts. While this serious harm has often been interpreted by national courts in light of international humanitarian law, in its Diakité Judgment of 30 January 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union adopted a new definition of ‘internal armed conflict' differing from the humanitarian law understanding. The present article enquires into the reasons given by the Court to discard international humanitarian law as the appropriate interpretative framework and into the protective and systemic implications of such a distinct definition.