A History of the Laws of War: Volume 3: The Customs and Laws of War with Regards to Arms Control

Bloomsbury Publishing
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This unique work of reference traces the origins of the modern laws of warfare from the earliest times to the present day. Relying on written records from as far back as 2400 BCE, and using sources ranging from the Bible to Security Council Resolutions, the author pieces together the history of a subject which is almost as old as civilisation itself. The author shows that as long as humanity has been waging wars it has also been trying to find ways of legitimising different forms of combatants and ascribing rules to them, protecting civilians who are either inadvertently or intentionally caught up between them, and controlling the use of particular classes of weapons that may be used in times of conflict. Thus it is that this work is divided into three substantial parts: Volume 1 on the laws affecting combatants and captives; Volume 2 on civilians; and Volume 3 on the law of arms control.

This third volume deals with the question of the control of weaponry, from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age. In doing so, it divides into two parts: namely, conventional weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction. The examination of the history of arms control of conventional weapons begins with the control of weaponry so that one side could achieve a military advantage over another. This pattern, which only began to change centuries after the advent of gunpowder, was later supplemented by ideals to control types of conventional weapons because their impacts upon opposing combatants were inhumane. By the late twentieth century, the concerns over inhumane conventional weapons were being supplemented by concerns over indiscriminate conventional weapons.

The focus on indiscriminate weapons, when applied on a mass scale, is the core of the second part of the volume. Weapons of Mass Destruction are primarily weapons of the latter half of the twentieth century. Although both chemical and biological warfare have long historical lineages, it was only after the Second World War that technological developments meant that these weapons could be applied to cause large-scale damage to non-combatants. thi is unlike uclear weapons, which are a truly modern invention. Despite being the newest Weapon of Mass Destruction, they are also the weapon of which most international attention has been applied, although the frameworks by which they were contained in the last century, appear inadequate to address the needs of current times.

As a work of reference this set of three books is unrivalled, and will be of immense benefit to scholars and practitioners researching and advising on the laws of warfare. It also tells a story which throws fascinating new light on the history of international law and on the history of warfare itself.



'The law impacts on modern military operations at all levels. The importance of understanding the influence of international law, and the constraints, which it places upon the conduct of armed conflict, is an essential area of study. Dr Alexander Gillespie's three volume work traces the development and scope of this law from the earliest times through the modern day. In doing so he identifies constant themes and common principles in the law, as well, unfortunately, as all too common breaches. Commanders and historians, as well as lawyers, will find this book of great value. It is written in a practical and useful style and brings to light many fascinating examples of the law at work in times of war from which contemporary lessons can be learned'.
Brigadier Kevin Riordan, Director General of Defence Legal Services for the New Zealand Defence Forces.


'The span of scholarship on offer in these volumes is astonishing…an extraordinary gathering of historical and legal materials many of which record the most sombre and tragic events of human history - war in all its terrible forms.'
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

'At a time of real challenge, Alexander Gillespie is to be commended for his monumental and significant contribution to our understanding of the context, practice and principles that govern war and armed conflict. This vital book is an indispensable part of any library, and will be a necessary resource for governments, NGOs, international organisers, academics and lawyers involved in the issues.'
Professor Philippe Sands QC, University College London

'This is a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the laws of, against and about war. It is both authoritative and accessible - Alexander Gillespie's great achievement is to provide a map for a better future, in which the inevitable horrors of armed conflict are recognised and minimised, and those who instigate them unlawfully are punished by international courts. This is a must-read for all concerned to ensure that war laws do not end up in the graveyard of good words.'
Geoffrey Robertson QC, founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, author of Crimes Against Humanity (Penguin and The New Pr
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About the author

Alexander Gillespie is Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Professor of Law at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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Published on
Oct 7, 2011
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Pages
180
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ISBN
9781847318633
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / International
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Alexander Gillespie
This unique new work of reference traces the origins of the modern laws of warfare from the earliest times to the present day. Relying on written records from as far back as 2400 BCE, and using sources ranging from the Bible to Security Council Resolutions, the author pieces together the history of a subject which is almost as old as civilisation itself. The author shows that as long as humanity has been waging wars it has also been trying to find ways of legitimising different forms of combatants and ascribing rules to them, protecting civilians who are either inadvertently or intentionally caught up between them, and controlling the use of particular classes of weapons that may be used in times of conflict. Thus it is that this work is divided into three substantial parts: Volume 1 on the laws affecting combatants and captives; Volume 2 on civilians; and Volume 3 on the law of arms control.

This second book on civilians examines four different topics. The first topic deals with the targetting of civilians in times of war. This discussion is one which has been largely governed by the developments of technologies which have allowed projectiles to be discharged over ever greater areas, and attempts to prevent their indiscriminate utilisation have struggled to keep pace. The second topic concerns the destruction of the natural environment, with particular regard to the utilisation of starvation as a method of warfare, and unlike the first topic, this one has rarely changed over thousands of years, although contemporary practices are beginning to represent a clear break from tradition. The third topic is concerned with the long-standing problems of civilians under the occupation of opposing military forces, where the practices of genocide, collective punishments and/or reprisals, and rape have occurred. The final topic in this volume is about the theft or destruction of the property of the enemy, in terms of either pillage or the intentional devastation of the cultural property of the opposition.

As a work of reference this set of three books is unrivalled, and will be of immense benefit to scholars and practitioners researching and advising on the laws of warfare. It also tells a story which throws fascinating new light on the history of international law and on the history of warfare itself.


'The law impacts on modern military operations at all levels. The importance of understanding the influence of international law, and the constraints, which it places upon the conduct of armed conflict, is an essential area of study. Dr Alexander Gillespie's three volume work traces the development and scope of this law from the earliest times through the modern day. In doing so he identifies constant themes and common principles in the law, as well, unfortunately, as all too common breaches. Commanders and historians, as well as lawyers, will find this book of great value. It is written in a practical and useful style and brings to light many fascinating examples of the law at work in times of war from which contemporary lessons can be learned'.
Brigadier Kevin Riordan, Director General of Defence Legal Services for the New Zealand Defence Forces.


'The span of scholarship on offer in these volumes is astonishing…an extraordinary gathering of historical and legal materials many of which record the most sombre and tragic events of human history - war in all its terrible forms.'
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

'At a time of real challenge, Alexander Gillespie is to be commended for his monumental and significant contribution to our understanding of the context, practice and principles that govern war and armed conflict. This vital book is an indispensable part of any library, and will be a necessary resource for governments, NGOs, international organisers, academics and lawyers involved in the issues.'
Professor Philippe Sands QC, University College London


'This is a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the laws of, against and about war. It is both authoritative and accessible - Alexander Gillespie's great achievement is to provide a map for a better future, in which the inevitable horrors of armed conflict are recognised and minimised, and those who instigate them unlawfully are punished by international courts. This is a must-read for all concerned to ensure that war laws do not end up in the graveyard of good words.'
Geoffrey Robertson QC, founder and head of Doughty Street Chambers, author of Crimes Against Humanity (Penguin and The New Press)
Alexander Gillespie
This unique new work of reference traces the origins of the modern laws of warfare from the earliest times to the present day. Relying on written records from as far back as 2400 BCE, and using sources ranging from the Bible to Security Council Resolutions, the author pieces together the history of a subject which is almost as old as civilisation itself. The author shows that as long as humanity has been waging wars it has also been trying to find ways of legitimising different forms of combatants and regulating the treatment of captives.

This first book on warfare deals with the broad question of whether the patterns of dealing with combatants and captives have changed over the last 5,000 years, and if so, how? In terms of context, the first part of the book is about combatants and those who can 'lawfully' take part in combat. In many regards, this part of the first volume is a series of 'less than ideal' pathways. This is because in an ideal world there would be no combatants because there would be no fighting. Yet as a species we do not live in such a place or even anywhere near it, either historically or in contemporary times. This being so, a second-best alternative has been to attempt to control the size of military forces and, therefore, the bloodshed. This is also not the case by which humanity has worked over the previous centuries. Rather, the clear assumption for thousands of years has been that authorities are allowed to build the size of their armed forces as large as they wish. The restraints that have been applied are in terms of the quality and methods by which combatants are taken. The considerations pertain to questions of biology such as age and sex, geographical considerations such as nationality, and the multiple nuances of informal or formal combatants. These questions have also overlapped with ones of compulsion and whether citizens within a country can be compelled to fight without their consent. Accordingly, for the previous 3,000 years, the question has not been whether there should be a limit on the number of soldiers, but rather who is or is not a lawful combatant. It has rarely been a question of numbers. It has been, and remains, one of type. The second part of this book is about people, typically combatants, captured in battle. It is about what happens to their status as prisoners, about the possibilities of torture, assistance if they are wounded and what happens to their remains should they be killed and their bodies fall into enemy hands. The theme that ties all of these considerations together is that all of the acts befall those who are, to one degree or another, captives of their enemies. As such, they are no longer masters of their own fate.

As a work of reference this first volume, as part of a set of three, is unrivalled, and will be of immense benefit to scholars and practitioners researching and advising on the laws of warfare. It also tells a story which throws fascinating new light on the history of international law and on the history of warfare itself.


'The law impacts on modern military operations at all levels. The importance of understanding the influence of international law, and the constraints, which it places upon the conduct of armed conflict, is an essential area of study. Dr Alexander Gillespie's three volume work traces the development and scope of this law from the earliest times through the modern day. In doing so he identifies constant themes and common principles in the law, as well, unfortunately, as all too common breaches. Commanders and historians, as well as lawyers, will find this book of great value. It is written in a practical and useful style and brings to light many fascinating examples of the law at work in times of war from which contemporary lessons can be learned'.
Brigadier Kevin Riordan, Director General of Defence Legal Services for the New Zealand Defence Forces.

'The span of scholarship on offer in these volumes is astonishing…an extraordinary gathering of historical and legal materials many of which record the most sombre and tragic events of human history - war in all its terrible forms.'
Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand

'At a time of real challenge, Alexander Gillespie is to be commended for his monumental and significant contribution to our understanding of the context, practice and principles that govern war and armed conflict. This vital book is an indispensable part of any library, and will be a necessary resource for governments, NGOs, international organisers, academics and lawyers involved in the issues.'
Professor Philippe Sands QC, University College London

''This is a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the laws of, against and about war. It is both authoritative and accessible - Alexander Gillespie's great achievement is to provide a map for a better future, in which the inevitable horrors of armed conflict are recognised and minimised, and those
Alexander Gillespie
This second edition of International Environmental Law, Policy, and Ethics revises and expands this groundbreaking study into the question of why the environment is protected in the international arena. This question is rarely asked because it is assumed that each member of the international community wants to achieve the same ends. However, in his innovative study of international environmental ethics, Alexander Gillespie explodes this myth. He shows how nations, like individuals, create environmental laws and policies which are continually inviting failure, as such laws can often be riddled with inconsistencies, and be ultimately contradictory in purpose. Specifically, he seeks a nexus between the reasons why nations protect the environment, how these reasons are reflected in law and policy, and what complications arise from these choices. This book takes account of the numerous developments in international environmental law and policy that have taken place the publication of the first edition, most notably at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the 2012 'Rio + 20' United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Furthermore, it addresses recent debates on the economic value of nature, and the problems of the illegal trade in species and toxic waste. The cultural context has also been considerably advanced in the areas of both intangible and tangible heritage, with increasing attention being given to conservation, wildlife management, and the notion of protected areas. The book investigates the ways in which progress has been made regarding humane trapping and killing of animals, and how, in contrast, the Great Apes initiative, and similar work with whales, have failed. Finally, the book addresses the fact that while the notion of ecosystem management has been embraced by a number of environmental regimes, it has thus far failed as an international philosophy.
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