1st Edition

The Rule of Law in Crisis and Conflict Grey Zones
Regulating the Use of Force in a Global Information Environment

ISBN 9781472486950
Published December 27, 2016 by Routledge
350 Pages

USD $180.00

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Book Description

This book responds to ongoing calls for clarification and consensus regarding the meaning, scope and interplay of humanitarian law and human rights law in the ‘grey zones’ of unconventional operational environments such as counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. It contributes to the debate in this area by developing objective criteria for determining where the shift from the legal framework of law enforcement to that of non-international armed conflict occurs in relation to targeting law and weaponry law; by developing improved objective criteria for determining what constitutes direct participation in hostilities and de facto membership in an organised armed group; by taking stock of how existing targeting and weaponry rules are being applied to unconventional conflicts within civilian populated areas by key state players as well as by international and regional human rights mechanisms; by arguing for the progressive realisation of targeting and weaponry law so that they are more fitting for operational environments that are increasingly urbanised and civilianised; by seeking to understand how global networked connectivity may affect our understanding of the operational theatre of war and the geographical reach of the legal framework of non-international armed conflict. 

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgements

Table of Cases


Table of International Treaties, Statutes and Protocols

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations




Avoiding The Strategic Costs of Civilian Harm Through the Effective Use Of Force


Chapter 1

The Contemporary Theatre of Operations


Chapter 2

A General Critique of IHL Targeting And Weaponry Norms and Institutions


Chapter 3

Reconceptualising the Regulation of the Use Of Force in Situations of Crisis and Unconventional Conflict: Enhanced contextual status determination


Chapter 4

Reconceptualising the Regulation of the Use Of Force in Situations of Crisis and Unconventional Conflict: Individual status determination


Chapter 5

Towards a clearer framework for distinguishing those who participate directly in hostilities from those who are to be protected as civilians: extrapolating models of accessorial liability and co-perpetration in the commission of harmful acts


Chapter 6

Reconceptualising Targeting and Weaponry Law for the Unconventional Theatre of Operations


Chapter 7

Weaponry law: Emerging Approaches to the Regulation of Means of Warfare and Law Enforcement


Chapter 8

Regulating Military Operations Abroad: the Extraterritorial Effect of Human Rights and the potential Modalities of Parallel Application of the Right to Life under Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law


Chapter 9

Conclusions : Grey Zones of War and Peace in Our Globally Networked Information Environment








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Michael John-Hopkins has worked with the United Nations ICTY, the UK Refugee Council and a private legal practice in France. He has also worked as a Tutor in Law at Aberystwyth University and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Law at Oxford Brookes University, UK. He teaches tort law, land law, human rights law and humanitarian law.


This book is an innovative, yet pragmatic, approach to cutting the Gordian knot caused by the increasing overlap of jurisdiction between international human rights law and international humanitarian law, in particular, tackling head on the differences relating to the use of force in targeting operations. Professor Charles Garraway, Human Rights Centre, University of Essex.

As history demonstrates, this maintenance [of international peace and security] often necessitates the use of force in response to international and increasingly non-international crises and conflicts. Uncertainty and controversy not only surrounds the classification of these situations of crisis and conflict but also the meaning, scope and interplay of humanitarian law and human rights law in situations of irregular armed conflict and other situations of violence. Resulting from an increased overlap in jurisdiction between human rights law and humanitarian law, Michael John-Hopkins makes a valuable contribution to this dialogue. The book sheds light on these uncertainties and controversies in a carefully considered, comprehensive and coherent narrative on a range of interrelated fundamental issues concerning the interpretation and ordering of norms of humanitarian and human rights law relating to targeting and weaponry in contemporary conflict situations.

Journal of Conflict & Security Law (2018), 1–4