The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War

Cambridge University Press
2
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The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War introduces law students and undergraduates to the law of war in an age of terrorism. What law of armed conflict/international humanitarian law applies to particular armed conflicts? Does that law apply to terrorists as well? What is the status of participants in an armed conflict? What constitutes a war crime? What is a lawful target and how are targeting decisions made? What are rules of engagement? What weapons are lawful and unlawful, and why? This text takes the reader through these essential questions of the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law to an awareness of finer points of battlefield law. The U.S.-weighted text incorporates lessons from many nations and includes hundreds of cases from jurisdictions worldwide.
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About the author

Gary D. Solis is a retired Professor of Law of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he headed the law of war program. He received Phi Kappa Phi's distinguished teaching award and, in 2006, the Apgar Award as the Military Academy's outstanding instructor. He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, holds a Ph.D. in the law of war from The London School of Economics & Political Science, and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Solis is the author of Marines and Military Law in Vietnam and Son Thang: An American War Crime.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Feb 15, 2010
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Pages
697
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ISBN
9781139487115
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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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The high civilian death toll in modern, protracted conflicts such as those in Syria or Iraq indicate the limits of international law in offering protections to civilians at risk. A recent conference of states convened by the International Committee of the Red Cross referred to 'an institutional vacuum in the area of international humanitarian law implementation'. Yet both international humanitarian law and the law of human rights establish a series of rights intended to protect civilians. But which law or laws apply in a particular situation, and what are the obstacles to their implementation? How can the law offer greater protections to civilians caught up in new methods of warfare, such as drone strikes, or targeted by new forms of military organisation, such as transnational armed groups? Can the implementation gap be filled by the growing use of human rights courts to remedy violations of the laws of armed conflict, or are new instruments or mechanisms of civilian legal protection needed?

This volume brings together contributions from leading academic authorities and legal practitioners on the situation of civilians in the grey zone between human rights and the laws of war. The chapters in Part 1 address key contested or boundary issues in defining the rights of civilians or non-combatants in today's conflicts. Those in Part 2 examine remedies and current mechanisms for redress both at the international and national level, and those in Part 3 assess prospects for the development of new mechanisms for addressing violations. As military intervention to protect civilians remains contested, this volume looks at the potential for developing alternative approaches to the protection of civilians and their rights.
This book offers a multidisciplinary treatment of targeting. It is intended for use by the military, government legal advisers and academics. The book is suitable for use in both military training and educational programs and in Bachelor and Master degree level courses on such topics as War Studies and Strategic Studies.

The book first explores the context of targeting, its evolution and the current targeting process and characteristics. An overview of the legal and ethical constraints on targeting as an operational process follows. It concludes by surveying contemporary issues in targeting such as the potential advent of autonomous weapon systems, ‘non-kinetic’ targeting, targeting in multinational military operations and leadership decapitation in counter-terrorism operations.

The deep practical experience and academic background of the contributors ensures comprehensive treatment of current targeting and use of force issues.

Paul Ducheine is Professor for Cyber Operations and Cyber Security, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands; and Professor of Law of Military Cyber Operations and Cyber Security at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Michael Schmitt is Charles H. Stockton Professor & Director, Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, and Professor of Public International Law, University of Exeter, UK. Frans Osinga is Chair of the War Studies Department, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands, and Professor of Military Operational Art and Sciences.

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.
This fully updated third edition of The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law sets out an international manual of humanitarian law accompanied by case analysis and extensive explanatory commentary by a team of distinguished and internationally renowned experts. The new edition takes account of recent developments in the law, including the 2010 amendments to the ICC Statute, the progressive evolution of customary law, and new jurisprudence from national and international courts and tribunals. It sheds light on controversial topics like direct participation in hostilities; air and missile warfare; belligerent occupation; operational detention; and the protection of the environment in armed conflict. The book also addresses the growing need to consider the interface between international humanitarian law and human rights, as well as other branches of international law, both during armed conflicts and in post-conflict situations. The commentary both deepens reflection on such innovations, and critically reconsiders views expressed in earlier editions to provide a contemporary analysis of this changing field. Renowned international lawyers offer a broad spectrum of legal opinions, restating the law in this area, which is applicable worldwide. Particular attention is paid to problems of application of the law in recent military campaigns, which are assessed and interpreted in a practice-oriented manner. Based on best-practice rules of global importance, this book gives invaluable guidance to practitioners and scholars of this important body of law.
This book conducts an in-depth analysis into the lawfulness of State-sponsored targeted killings under international human rights and humanitarian law. It also addresses the relevance of the law of inter-state force to targeted killings, and the interrelation of the various normative frameworks which may simultaneously apply to operations involving the intentional use of lethal force. Through a comprehensive analysis of treaties, custom, and general principles of law in light of jurisprudence, doctrine, and travaux preparatoires the author demonstrates that contemporary international law provides two distinct normative paradigms which govern the use of lethal force in law enforcement and in the conduct of hostilities. Based on the resulting normative paradigms, the author shows in what circumstances targeted killings may be considered as internationally lawful. The practical relevance of the various conditions and modalities is illustrated by reference to concrete examples of targeted killing from recent State practice. In essence the book argues that any targeted killing not directed against a legitimate military target remains subject to the law enforcement paradigm, which imposes extensive restraints on the practice. Even under the paradigm of hostilities, no person can be lawfully liquidated without further considerations. As a form of individualized or surgical warfare, the method of targeted killing requires a 'microscopic' interpretation of the law regulating the conduct of hostilities which leads to nuanced results. The author concludes by highlighting and comparing the main areas of concern arising with regard to State-sponsored targeted killing under each normative paradigm and by placing the results of the analysis in the wider context of the rule of law.
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