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International Humanitarian Law
International Humanitarian Law, also known as the Laws of War or Law of Armed Conflict is the part of public international law that regulates international and non-international armed conflict. International Humanitarian Law consists of the rules applicable during the conflict. These rules also apply to a situation of occupation arising from armed conflict. The International Humanitarian Law rules can be found in both treaties and international customary law. The main objective of these rules is to provide protection to the civilian population and civilian objects as well as to those persons who are no longer taking part in the hostilities. In addition, International Humanitarian Law rules aim to restrict the methods and means of warfare used during the hostilities by the parties involved. The International Committee of the Red Cross, a non-governmental humanitarian organization with its headquarter in Geneva, is the primary institution for International Humanitarian Law. Established in 1863, the initiatives of the ICRC have greatly contributed to the development of international humanitarian law. The ICRC also monitors the implementation of International Humanitarian Law rules and norms.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on International Humanitarian Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 211. International Humanitarian Law; General Works and subject heading (keyword) International Humanitarian Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
The International Humanitarian Law Research Guide of the Peace Palace Library is updated regularly in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Library in Geneva.
- Blank, L.R., and G.P. Noone, International Law and Armed Conflict: Fundamental Principles and Contemporary Challenges in the Law of War, New York, NY, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2013.
- Bothe, M. (et al.), New rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts: Commentary on the Two 1977 Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (2nd ed.), Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013.
- Carey, J. (et al.) (eds.), International Humanitarian Law, Ardsley, NY, Transnational, 2003-2006.
- Crowe, J., and K. Weston-Scheuber, Principles of International Humanitarian Law, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013.
- David, E., Principes de droit des conflits armés (5th ed.), Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2012.
- Fleck, D. (ed.), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (3rd ed.) Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Henckaerts, J.-M. and L. Doswald-Beck (eds.), Customary International Humanitarian Law (2 vols), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
- Kalshoven, F. and L. Zegveld , Constraints on the Waging of War: An Introduction to International Humanitarian Law (4th ed.), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011.
- Rogers, A.P.V., Law on the Battlefield (3rd ed.), Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2012.
- Sivakumaran, S., The Law of Non-International Armed Conflict, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Thürer, D., International Humanitarian Law: Theory, Practice, Context, The Hague, Hague Academy of International Law, 2011.
- Wilmshurst, E. (ed.), International Law and the Classification of Conflicts, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Ben-Naftali, O. (ed.), International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law: Pas de Deux, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011.
- Benvenisti, E., The International Law of Occupation (2nd ed.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Bonomy, I., Principles of Distinction and Protection at the ICTY, FICHL Occasional Paper Series No. 3, Oslo, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2013. [PDF]
- Bouchet-Saulnier, F., The Practical Guide to Humanitarian Law (3rd ed.), Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield, 2013.
- Boothby, W.H., The Law of Targeting, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Breitegger, A., Cluster Munitions and International Law: Disarmament with a Human Face?, London, Routledge, 2012.
- Cameron, L., and V. Chetail, Privatizing War: Private Military and Security Companies under Public International Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
- Casey-Maslen, S. (ed.), The War Report: 2012, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.
- Chamberlain, K., War and Cultural Heritage: An Analysis of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Two Protocols (2nd ed.), Crickadarn, Institute of Art and Law, 2013.
- Dinniss, H.H., Cyber Warfare and the Laws of War, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- Finkelstein, C. (et al.) (eds.), Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Human Rights Watch/IHRC, Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots, Report 2012. [PDF]
- Jacques, M., Armed Conflict and Displacement: The Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons under International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- Kolb, R., and G. Gaggioli (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013. [ToC]
- Krieger, H., A Turn to Non-State Actors: Inducing Compliance with International Humanitarian Law in War-Torn Areas of Limited Statehood, Berlin, DFG Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 700, SFB-Governance Working Paper Series, No. 62, June 2013. [PDF]
- Lovell, D.W. (ed.), Protecting Civilians During Violent Conflict: Theoretical and Practical Issues for the 21st Century, Farnham, Ashgate, 2012.
- Matheson, M.J., International Civil Tribunals and Armed Conflict, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2012.
- Müller, A., The Relationship between Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Humanitarian Law: An Analysis of Health-Related Issues in Non-International Armed Conflicts, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.
- O’Keefe, R., The Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
- Perrin, B., Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations, and the Law, Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 2012.
- Petrovic, J., The Old Bridge of Mostar and Increasing Respect for Cultural Property in Armed Conflict, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013.
- Pocar, F. (et al.) (eds.), War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities: Challenges to Adjudication and Investigation, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013.
- Rayfuse, R, and B. Sjöstedt, Report of the Workshop on Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflict, Lund University, 2012. [PDF]
- Saxon, D. (ed.), International Humanitarian Law and the Changing Technology of War, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013. [PDF]
- Scheipers, S., Prisoners in War, New York, NY, Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Schmitt, M.N., and W. Heintschel von Heinegg (eds.), The Conduct of Hostilities in International Humanitarian Law (2 vols.), Farnham, Ashgate, 2012.
- Watkin, K., and A.J. Norris (eds.), Non-International Armed Conflict in the Twenty-First Century, Newport, RI, Naval War College, 2012. [PDF]
- Akande, D, “Classification of Armed Conflict : Relevant Legal Concepts”, in E. Wilmshurst (ed.), International Law and the Classification of Conflicts, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 32-79.
- Arimatsu, L., “Spatial Conceptions of the Law of Armed Conflict”, in R.P. Barnidge, Jr. (ed.), The Liberal Way of War: Legal Perspectives, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013, pp. 167-188.
- Asaro, P., “On Banning Autonomous Weapon Systems: Human Rights, Automation, and the Dehumanization of Lethal Decision-Making”, International Review of the Red Cross, 94 (2012), No. 886, pp. 687-709. [PDF]
- Blank, L.R., “Learning to Live with (a Little) Uncertainty: The Operational Aspects and Consequences of the Geography of Conflict Debate”, University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, 161 (2013), pp. 347-361. [PDF]
- Blank, L.R., and G.S. Corn, “Losing the Forest for the Trees: Syria, Law, and the Pragmatics of Conflict Recognition”, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 46 (2013), No. 3, pp. 693-746. [PDF]
- Breau, S.C., “Protection of the Environment during Armed Conflict”, in Shawkat Alam (et al.) (eds.), Routledge Handbook of International Environmental Law, London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 617-632.
- Crawford, E., “Regulating the Irregular: International Humanitarian Law and the Question of Civilian Participation in Armed Conflicts”, U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy, 18 (2012), No. 1, pp. 163-190. [PDF]
- Cronin, B., “Reckless Endangerment Warfare : Civilian Casualties and the Collateral Damage Exception in International Humanitarian Law”, Journal of Peace Research, 50 (2013), No. 2, pp. 175-187.
- Cummings, R., “General Orders No. 100: Why the Lieber Codes Requirement for Combatants to Wear Uniforms is still Applicable for the Protection of Civilian Populations in Modern Warfare”, Northern Kentucky Law Review, 39 (2012), No. 4, pp. 785-805.
- Cunningham, S., “Zero Dark Thirty : a Critical Evaluation of the Legality of the Killing of Osama bin Laden under International Humanitarian Law”, Humanitäres Völkerrecht, 26 (2013), No. 2, pp. 56-63.
- Dinstein, Y., “The Principle of Proportionality”, in K.M. Larsen (et al.) (eds.), Searching for a “Principle of Humanity” in International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 72-85.
- Droege C., and M.-L. Tougas, “The Protection of the Natural Environment in Armed Conflict: Existing Rules and Need for Further Legal Protection”, Nordic Journal of International Law, 82 (2013), No. 1, pp. 21-52.
- Erakat, N., “The U.S. v. the Red Cross: Customary International Humanitarian Law and Universal Jurisdiction”, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, 41 (2013), No. 2, pp. 225-272.
- Fleck, D.H., “International Humanitarian Law a Decade after September 11: Developments and Perspectives”, Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, 14 (2011), 2012, pp. 349-360.
- Fleck, D., “Searching for International Rules Applicable to Cyber Warfare: A Critical First Assessment of the New Tallinn Manual”, Journal of Conflict & Security Law, 18 (2013), No. 2, pp. 331-351.
- Frakt, D.J.R., “Direct Participation in Hostilities as a War Crime: America’s Failed Efforts to Change the Law of War”, Valparaiso University Law Review, 46 (2012), No. 3, pp. 729-764. [PDF]
- Gejji, P.S., “Can Insurgent Courts be Legitimate within International Humanitarian Law ? “, Texas Law Review, 91 (2013), pp. 1525-1559. [PDF]
- Hansen, J.C., “Rethinking the Regulation of Private Military and Security Companies under International Humanitarian Law”, Fordham International Law Journal, 35 (2012), No. 3, pp. 698-736.
- Hayashi, N., “Contextualizing Military Necessity”, Emory International Law Review, 27 (2013), No. 1, pp. 189-283.
- Heintschel von Heinegg , W., “The Tallinn Manual and International Cyber Security Law”, Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, 15 (2012), pp. 3-18.
- Heintschel von Heinegg , W., “Aerial Blockades and Zones”, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, 43 (2013), pp. 263-295.
- Heintze, H.-J., “Theories on the Relationship between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law”, in R. Kolb and G. Gaggioli (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013, pp. 53-64.
- Herbach, J.D., “Into the Caves of Steel: Precaution, Cognition and Robotic Weapon Systems under the International Law of Armed Conflict”, Amsterdam Law Forum, 4 (2012), No. 3, pp. 3-20. [PDF]
- Kraska, J., and R. Pedrozo, “Irregular Naval Warfare and Blockade”, Ch. 23 in International Maritime Security Law, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013, pp. 859-901. [Info]
- Kreß, C., “The International Court of Justice and the Law of Armed Conflicts”, in C.J. Tams and J. Sloan (eds.), The Development of International Law by the International Court of Justice, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 263-298.
- Levin, E., “Journalists as a Protected Category: A New Status for the Media in International Humanitarian Law”, UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs, 17 (2013), No. 1-2, pp. 215-250.
- Lyons, J., “Documenting Violations of International Humanitarian Law from Space: A Critical Review of Geospatial Analysis of Satellite Imagery during Armed Conflicts in Gaza (2009), Georgia (2008), and Sri Lanka (2009)”, International Review of the Red Cross, 94 (2012), No. 886, pp. 739-763. [PDF]
- Madden, M., “Of Wolves and Sheep: A Purposive Analysis of Perfidy Prohibitions in International Humanitarian Law”, Journal of Conflict & Security Law, 17 (2012), No. 3, pp. 439-463.
- Malantowicz, A., “Civil War in Syria and the ‘New Wars’ Debate”, Amsterdam Law Forum, 5 (2013), No. 3, pp. 52-60. [PDF]
- Mangezi, M., “Localised Armed Conflict: A Factual Reality, a Legal Misnomer”, African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law, 2012, pp. 79-97.
- Marauhn, T., “Sailing Close to the Wind: Human Rights Council Fact-Finding in Situations of Armed Conflict: The Case of Syria”, California Western International Law Journal, 43 (2013), No. 2, pp. 401-459. [PDF]
- Matthews, H., “The Interaction between International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law: Seeking the Most Effective Protection for Civilians in Non-International Armed Conflicts”, International Journal of Human Rights, 17 (2013), No. 5-6, pp.633-645.
- Melzer, N., “Bolstering the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict”, in A. Cassese (ed.), Realizing Utopia: The Future of International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 508-518.
- Odermatt, J., “Between Law and Reality: ‘New Wars’ and Internationalised Armed Conflict”, Amsterdam Law Forum, 5 (2013), No. 3, pp. 19-32. [PDF]
- Osakwe, C., and U.E. Umoh, “Non-Lethal Weapons and Force-Casualty Aversion in 21st Century Warfare”, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, 15 (2013), No. 1, pp. 1-20. [PDF]
- Pejić, J., “Conflict Classification and the Law Applicable to Detention and the Use of Force”, in E. Wilmshurst (ed.), International Law and the Classification of Conflicts, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 80-116.
- Quénivet, N., “The Liberal Discourse and the ‘New Wars’ of/on Children”, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, 38 (2013), No. 3, pp. 1053-1107. [PDF]
- Sánchez, A.N., “Mexico’s Drug ‘War’: Drawing a Line Between Rhetoric and Reality”, Yale Journal of International Law, 38 (2013), No. 2, pp. 467-509. [PDF]
- Shah, N.A., “The Islamic Law of Qital and the Law of Armed Conflict: A Comparison”, in R.P. Barnidge, Jr. (ed.), The Liberal Way of War: Legal Perspectives, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013, pp. 213-238.
- Thürer, D., “The Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons: the ICJ Advisory Opinion Reconsidered”, in G. Hafner (et al.)(eds.), Völkerrecht und die Dynamik der Menschenrechte: Liber Amicorum Wolfram Karl, Wien, Facultas.wuv, 2012, pp. 538-552.
- Toebes, B., “Doctors in Arms: Exploring the Legal and Ethical Position of Military Medical Personnel in Armed Conflicts”, in M. Matthee (et al.) (eds.), Armed Conflict and International Law: In search of the Human Face: Liber Amicorum in Memory of Avril McDonald, The Hague, T.M.C. Asser Press, 2013, pp. 169-194.
- Turns, D., “Targets”, in N.D. White and C. Henderson (eds.), Research Handbook on International Conflict and Security Law : Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello, and Jus post Bellum, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2013, pp. 342-374.
- Wagner, M., “Autonomy in the Battlespace: Independently Operating Weapon Systems and the Law of Armed Conflict”, in D. Saxon (ed.), International Humanitarian Law and the Changing Technology of War, Leiden, Marinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013, pp. 99-122. [PDF]
- Doswald-Beck, L. (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, Cambridge, Cambridge university Press, 1995. [text]
- ICRC International Humanitarian Law – Treaties and Documents.
- ICRC Customary International Humanitarian Law.
- Grace, R., The Design and Planning of Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Missions, Cambridge (MA): Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research Harvard University, December 2013. [PDF]
- Heyns, C., Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions on Lethal Autonomous Robotics (LARs), UN Doc. A/HRC/23/47, 9 April 2013. [PDF]
- Melzer, N., Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law, Geneva, ICRC, 2009. [PDF]
- Melzer, N., Human Rights Implications of the Usage of Drones and Unmanned Robots in Warfare, European Parliament, 2013. [PDF]
- Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University (HPCR), Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013. [PDF]
- Roberts, A., and R. Guelff (eds.), Documents on the Laws of War (3rd ed.), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Schindler, D., and J. Toman, The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions, and other Documents (4th ed.), Leiden, Nijhoff, 2004.
- Schmitt, M.N. (ed.), Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013. [E-book]
Periodicals, serial publications
- African Yearbook on International Humanitarian Law
- Humanitäres Völkerrecht: Informationsschriften: Table of Contents
- International Humanitarian Law Series
- International Review of the Red Cross: Table of Contents
- ISIL Yearbook of International Humanitarian and Refugee Law
- Journal of Conflict & Security Law: Table of Contents
- Journal of International Criminal Justice: Table of Contents
- Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies: Table of Contents
- Law Mantra Journal, 1 (2013), No. 4, Table of Contents
- Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Table of Contents
- Huynh Thi Huong, Bibliography of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts, Geneva : ICRC & Henry Dunant Institute, 1987.
- ICRC Resource Centre, Quarterly IHL bibliography, 4th trimester 2013.
- Thyssen, H., “Selected Bibliography on the Rules and Institutions of International Humanitarian Law Put to the Test of Recent Armed Conflicts”, in Rules and Institutions of International Humanitarian Law Put to the Test of Recent Armed Conflicts, Leiden : Nĳhoff, 2010, pp. 901-981.
1. Le droit humanitaire rattrapé par les droits de l'homme?
Le droit humanitaire rattrapé par les droits de l'homme? / par Giorgio Malinverni. - Paris : Dalloz In: La conscience des droits : mélanges en l'honneur de Jean-Paul Costa / [Jean Barthélemy ... et al.], ISBN 9782247107483: (2011) - 2011
Keywords: International Court of Justice, International humanitarian law, Human rights,
Keywords: International Court of Justice, International humanitarian law, Human rights,
2. Losing humanity
Losing humanity : the case against killer robots / [researched and written by Bonnie Docherty]. - New York, NY [etc.] : Human Rights Watch [etc.], 2012. - 49 p. : ill Met lit. opg. en samenvatting. - 2012
Keywords: Robots, Military use, Protection of civilian persons, International humanitarian law, E-docs,
Keywords: Robots, Military use, Protection of civilian persons, International humanitarian law, E-docs,
These publications are selected for you by H. Thijssen.
Pocar, F. (et al.) (eds.), War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities: Challenges to Adjudication and Investigation, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013. Showcase itemView this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Most charges for war crimes are brought for violations of the rules on the treatment of protected persons in armed conflict situations. However in certain cases, they are brought for serious breach of international humanitarian law rules governing the conduct of hostilities. This book seeks to address this somewhat neglected area of international criminal law. War Crimes and the Conduct of Hostilities identifies the challenges faced by prosecutors, investigators and courts and tribunals in the definition, investigation and adjudication of war crimes, based on violations of the rules of international humanitarian law on the conduct of hostilities. Detailed and topical sections in the book include; violations of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, violations of the rules protecting particular categories of persons, violations of the rules on means of warfare and the special case of terrorism in armed conflicts.
Barnidge, R.P. (ed.), The Liberal Way of War: Legal Perspectives, Farnham, Ashgate, 2013. Showcase itemView this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Examining some of the huge challenges that liberal States faced in the decade after 11 September 2001, the chapters in this book address three aspects of the impact of more than a decade of military action.This book begins by considering four different expressions of universalist moral aspirations, including the prohibition of torture, and discusses migration and ‘responsibility to protect,’ as well as the United Nations Human Rights Committee’s Concluding Observations about security and liberty in the last decade. International humanitarian law and the problems posed by the territorial character of war and the effects of new technologies and child soldiers are also analysed. Finally, Islamic law and its interface with international law is considered from a new perspective, and contributions in this final part offer a different way of thinking about an authentically Islamic modernisation that would be compatible with Western models of political order. With contributions from international lawyers from diverse backgrounds, this book fills an important gap in the literature on the themes of international human rights law, international humanitarian law and Islamic law.
Müller, A., The Relationship between Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Humanitarian Law: An Analysis of Health-Related Issues in Non-International Armed Conflicts, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013. Showcase itemView this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The author offers a detailed analysis of the legal consequences of the parallel application of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) to non-international armed conflicts.
With a focus on health related issues, the book covers important topics like the scope of limitations to and derogations from ESC rights, questions related to the integration of the right to health in military-target decisions, states’ obligations to mitigate the adverse public health impact of armed conflicts and obligations relating to the provision of humanitarian assistance. It moves the discussion about the parallel application of IHL and human rights to a new level, highlighting its potential to enhance the protection of people affected by armed conflicts but also the difficulties involved.
Chamberlain, K., War and Cultural Heritage: An Analysis of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Two Protocols (2nd ed.), Crickadarn, Institute of Art and Law, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
War and Cultural Heritage contains in a single volume an article by article commentary on the 1954 Hague Convention and its Two Protocols. The book also analyses other instruments of international humanitarian law relevant to the protection of cultural property. This includes the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, which had a profound influence on the drafting of the 1954 Convention and the Second Protocol respectively. The book also examines the extent to which the provisions of the 1954 Convention and its Protocols are part of customary international humanitarian law. The book takes into account the latest developments regarding the international efforts to secure restitution of Holocaust-looted cultural property, including the work of the UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel. The civil war in Syria has resulted in extensive destruction of that nation’s cultural heritage. More recently in the conflict in Mali Islamist insurgents retreating from Timbuktu set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless historic manuscripts, described by the town’s mayor as a devastating blow to world heritage. These incidents demonstrate the need for all parties engaged in armed conflict to have regard to the rules of international law concerning the protection of cultural property.
Baxter, R. and D.F. Vagts (et al.) (eds.), Humanizing the Laws of War: Selected Writings of Richard Baxter, Oxford, Oxford university Press, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book celebrates the scholarship of Richard Baxter, former Judge of the International Court of Justice and former Professor of International Law at Harvard Law School. The volume brings together Professor Baxter’s writings on the laws of war, on which he was one of the most influential scholars of the twentieth century. The collection of essays contained in this book once again makes his exceptional writings available to scholars and students in the field. His work remains timely and relevant to today’s issues, and offers many analyses which have been borne out in subsequent years. It includes, amongst many wide-ranging topics within the laws of war, Baxter’s studies of the Geneva Conventions, human rights in times of war, and the legal problems of international military command. Featuring a new introduction by Professor Detlev Vagts exploring the importance of Baxter’s writings, and a Biographical Note by Judge Stephen Schwebel assessing Baxter’s life, this book is essential reading for scholars and students of international humanitarian law.
Kolb, R., and G. Gaggioli (eds.), Research Handbook on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Cheltenham, E. Elgar, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book explores the interplay between international human rights law and international humanitarian law, offering expert analysis on the increasingly complex issues surrounding their application in conflict areas across the world. Contributors to this volume provide a comprehensive treatment of the ongoing relationship between human rights law and humanitarian law, from the historical background and origins of the two bodies of law to their various applications today. Divided into four parts – Historical Background, Common Issues, The Need for a Combined Approach, and Monitoring Mechanisms – the Handbook presents a rich and varied spectrum of original research and thought from some of the brightest minds in the field.
Saxon, D. (ed.), International Humanitarian Law and the Changing Technology of War, Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Increasingly, war is and will be fought by machines – and virtual networks linking machines – which, to varying degrees, are controlled by humans. This book explores the legal challenges for armed forces resulting from the development and use of new military technologies – automated and autonomous weapon systems, cyber weapons, “non-lethal” weapons and advanced communications – for the conduct of warfare. The contributions, each written by scholars and military officers with expertise in International Humanitarian Law (IHL), provide analysis and recommendations for armed forces as to how these new technologies may be used in accordance with international law. Moreover, the chapters provide suggestions for military doctrine to ensure continued compliance with IHL during this ever-more-rapid evolution of technology.
Wilmshurst, E. (ed.), International Law and the Classification of Conflicts, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
This book comprises contributions by leading experts in the field of international humanitarian law on the subject of the categorisation or classification of armed conflict. It is divided into two sections: the first aims to provide the reader with a sound understanding of the legal questions surrounding the classification of hostilities and its consequences; the second includes ten case studies that examine practice in respect of classification.Understanding how classification operates in theory and practice is a precursor to identifying the relevant rules that govern parties to hostilities. With changing forms of armed conflict which may involve multi-national operations, transnational armed groups and organized criminal gangs, the need for clarity of the law is all-important. The case studies selected for analysis are Northern Ireland, DRC, Colombia, Afghanistan (from 2001), Gaza, South Ossetia, Iraq (from 2003), Lebanon (2006), theso-called war against Al-Qaeda, and future trends. The studies explore the legal consequences of classification particularly in respect of the use of force, detention in armed conflict, and the relationship between human rights law and international humanitarian law. The practice identified in thecase studies allows the final chapter to draw conclusions as to the state of the law on classification.
Larsen, K.M. (et al.) (eds.), Searching for a "Principle of Humanity" in International Humanitarian Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
The legal norms of International Humanitarian Law are the product of a compromise between humanitarian considerations and the demands of military necessity. In Searching for a ‘Principle of Humanity’ in International Humanitarian Law, international legal scholars consider whether humanitarian considerations have an independent legal impact on IHL beyond the formation of these norms. They ask whether a ‘principle of humanity’ can be said to have legal force in its own right. Moreover, the book investigates whether regional or national differences are emerging regarding the import and emphasis placed on humanitarian considerations. For instance, do states which are not directly affected by armed conflict attach a greater weight to humanitarian considerations when interpreting and applying IHL than those states which are more directly involved in armed conflicts? Specifically, this book examines whether a particular ‘Nordic perspective’ can be identified, owing to those states’ involvement in armed conflicts outside their own territories in the post- Second World War era.
- American Society of International Law: Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL), International Humanitarian Law.
- Avalon Project at the Yale Law School, The Laws of War.
- Geneva Academy of Int’l Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts (RULAC) Project.
- International Committee of the Red Cross: Treaty database and States Party ; National Implementation Database ; Customary IHL database.
- Library of Congress, Military Legal Resources: Geneva Conventions Materials.
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law (access at PPL).
- Martinus Nijhoff Online, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (E-books) (access at PPL).
- United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law – Lecture Series, Law of Armed Conflict.
Crimes against Cultural Property in Mali
In an earlier Peace Palace Library blog (Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and war crimes) Ingrid Kost wrote that the Islamist Group Ansar (Ed)dine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu, Mali. One of the major causes of destruction of cultural property (the illicit trading, stealing and looting of cultural property is not covered in this blog) over the ages has been armed conflict. Crimes against cultural property should therefore be addressed properly.Read more
Colombia: At Last Peace with the FARC?
Columbia’s fourth attempt at peace with the Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) started formally last month in Oslo and will continue the 15th of November in Havana, Cuba. The earlier attempts- starting in 1984, 1990 and 1998- to end one of Latin America’s longest and bloodiest armed conflict all failed. Why would the outcome of the peace talks this time be different?Read more
The Legality of Drone Attacks
According to a recent report by Stanford and New York Universities’ law schools (Living Under Drones), the current US drone strike policy is counterproductive, has injured and killed civilians and undermines respect for international law. This blog explores briefly both the ius ad bellum and ius in bello implications of drone attacks.Read more
The Body Counts : Civilian Casualties in War
Throughout the post Cold War period there has been a widespread view that war and armed conflict have changed radically since the First World War to the point where some 80-90% of war victims are now civilians. Many modern wars have been accompanied by significant depopulations, along with destruction of infrastructure and resources.Read more
The International Criminal Court Delivers Judgment on Child Soldiers
On Wednesday 14 March, Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) delivered it’s first verdict. In a unanimous decision three judges convicted Thomas Lubanga Dyilo of the war crimes of conscripting, enlisting, and using children under the age of 15 to participate actively in hostilities. With this judgment the ICC firmly establishes the use of children in armed conflict as an international crime and also focuses renewed attention on the many thousands of children still used in various other conflicts in the world.Read more
A Licence to Kill? The assassination of Osama Bin Laden: Has the USA gone too far in acting as a policeman or was the raid justified?
Osama Bin Laden (OBL) is dead. He was killed by a special ops team from the United States of America (USA), “after a firefight.” After OBL had been assassinated, the special team of SEALS took the deceased body of the dangerous mastermind terrorist and several hard drives from the compound in Abbottabad. Bin laden had been hiding there with his family for several years without being noticed. When the Pentagon researched the hard drives, it appeared that OBL had been planning new attacks, at least on several US cities and also on European locations. Upon hearing this news so many have sighed with relief that the secret services of the USA found out about these planned attacks before they could actually take place. Obama, President of the USA stated that “justice had been done” by executing OBL. But “what kind of justice” The assassination also led to a lot of questions and criticism: Was the raid justified?Read more
Dresden 1945 : an Allied War Crime?
Since 1945, the bombing of Dresden is considered by many as a violation of international law and as a crime against humanity, even though positive rules of international humanitarian law were absent at the time. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of international law. However these conventions, adressing the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power. Despite repeated diplomatic attempts (→ The Hague Rules of Air Warefare 1922/1923) to update international humanitarian law to include aerial warfare, it was not done before the outbreak of World War II. The absence of positive international humanitarian law does not mean that the laws of war did not cover aerial warfare, but there was no general agreement of how to interpret those laws.Read more
The aerial bombardment of Dresden does not only raise the question as to whether or not it was an Allied war crime, but it also makes a moral appeal to prevent total war against civilian populations. It’s memory is kept alive.
“De bijdrage van Nederland aan de codificatie van het moderne humanitaire recht (1800-1914)”
A legal historical study of the development of international humanitarian law in the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century in the Netherlands.Recently the Peace Palace Library received a gift from the children of D.J.H.N. den Beer Poortugael (Herman den Beer Poortugael). The gift, a book titled: “De bijdrage van Nederland aan de [...]Read more
New Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) to be signed on December 3, 2008
Cluster Bomb Tour Bus takes on Eastern Europe
On Wednesday, 1st October an eight-week campaign trail through Europe was launched to convince all governments to sign a groundbreaking treaty banning cluster bombs, in Oslo on December 3, 2008. Beginning in Belgrade, Serbia and ending at the signing ceremony in Norway, the Ban Bus will rally [...]Read more
Judgement of the ICTY Appeals Chamber in the 'Dubrovnik' Case
On Thursday, 17 July, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) rendered its judgement [PDF document] on the appeals of both the Prosecution and the Defense against the conviction and sentence of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) General Pavle Strugar (Case No. IT-01-42-A).Read more
- ASIL Research Guide on International Humanitarian Law
- Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law (FICHL)
- Frederick K. Cox International Law Center War Crimes Research Portal
- Harvard Law Library Research Guide on International Humanitarian Law
- International Committee of the Red Cross, War and International Humanitarian Law
- International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative
- International Institute of Humanitarian Law
- Resource Guide on Legal Protection of Cultural Property
- T.M.C. Asser Institute, International Humanitarian Law
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Protecting the Environment During Armed Conflict
More Research guides on War, Peace and Security
- Biological and Chemical Weapons
- International Peace and Security
- Use of Force
- World War I
- World War II
Hashtag for this research guide: #rgihl