The Law in War : A Concise Overview book cover
1st Edition

The Law in War
A Concise Overview

ISBN 9781138910485
Published May 30, 2018 by Routledge
320 Pages

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Book Description

This book provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of key issues related to the regulation of armed hostilities between States, and between States and non-State groups.

Coverage begins with an explanation of the conditions that result in the applicability of international humanitarian law, and then subsequently addresses how the law influences a broad range of operational, humanitarian, and accountability issues that arise during military operations.

Each chapter provides a clear and comprehensive explanation of humanitarian law, focusing especially on how it impacts operations. The chapters also highlight both contemporary controversies in the field and potentially emerging norms of the law.

The book is an ideal text for students studying international humanitarian law for the first time, as well as an excellent introduction for students and practitioners of public international law and international relations.

Table of Contents

1:  Chapter 1: International Humanitarian Law Application;  2: Chapter 2: Non-International Armed Conflict;  3: Chapter 3: The Status of Individuals in Armed Conflict;  4: Chapter 4: Dealing with Civilians, Wounded and Sick;  5: Chapter 5: Prisoners of War and Other Detainees;  6: Chapter 6: Targeting;  7: Chapter 7: Weapons, Means, and Methods;  8: Chapter 8: Neutrality and Naval Warfare;  9: Chapter 9: Air and Missile Warfare;  10: Chapter 10: Command Responsibility;  11: Chapter 11: International Justice and Compliance;  12: Chapter 12: War Crimes and Accountability;  13: Index

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Geoffrey Corn is the Vinsen & Elkins Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law Houston. Prior to joining the South Texas faculty in 2005, Professor Corn served in the U.S. Army for 21 years, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Following retirement from active duty, Professor Corn served an additional year as the Army’s senior civilian law of war expert in the Office of the Judge Advocate General and Chief of the Law of War Branch in the International Law Division.

Ken Watkin served for 33 years in the Canadian Forces, including four years as the Judge Advocate General. In 2002 he was appointed to the Order of Military Merit, in 2006 a Queen’s Counsel, and in 2010 he received the Canadian Bar Association President’s Award. Ken was responsible for providing operational law advice regarding Canada’s military operations post-9/11, and worked as government counsel for various inquiries arising from the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Since his retirement in 2010, he has served as a foreign observer to the Israeli Independent Commission investigating the 2010 Gaza blockade incident, and as the Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Law at the United States Naval War College. He is the author of Fighting at the Legal Boundaries: Controlling the Use of Force in Contemporary Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2016), which was awarded the 2017 Francis Lieber Prize by the Lieber Society on the Law of Armed Conflict, the American Society of International Law.

Jamie Williamson is the executive director of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Providers Association. He previously worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross in a number of legal, operational and managerial positions in Geneva, Washington D.C., and Southern Africa. He also served from 1996–2005 with the UN ad hoc international criminal tribunals in Tanzania and the Netherlands, and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Jamie is on the faculty of American University's Program of Advanced Studies of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.


'The Law in War serves as well as, or, indeed, better than any source to provide an approachable and concise introduction to how law factors in armed conflict. Drawing on their varied and rich operational experience, the authors supply admirable clarity to how law has evolved and responded to the enormous pressures brought to the international system by transnational terrorism.'

- William C. Banks, Director, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT)

'This concise treatise on the law is masterfully enriched by the combined operational knowledge and practical experience of the authors. Both contemporary and comprehensive, the Law in War is a vital addition to every academic, student and practitioners library on the law of armed conflict.'

- Eric Jensen, Professor of Law, Brigham Young University.  

'In a complex strategic reality in which patterns of war have changed dramatically, and confronting a patchwork legal response where treaty law is often restricted and customary law disputed, this comprehensive book, written by leading and experienced scholars, offers an excellent guide to the labyrinth regulating both international and non-international armed conflicts.'

- Professor Yishai Beer, Radzyner Law School at the Interdisciplinary Center at Herzliya; Major General (ret'd), Israel Defense Forces