Law on the battlefield

Third edition

Author:
A. P. V. Rogers
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This book bridges the gap between the legal theory propounded in academic works and the practical implementation of customary and treaty law as evidenced by military manuals, operational orders and instructions or in reports relating to incidents occurring in armed conflict. It illustrates conflicts, generally those in which British sailors, soldiers and airmen have been involved. The book highlights the more recent judgments and opinions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, the comprehensive work of the International Committee of the Red Cross with regard to customary international humanitarian law and the meaning of 'direct participation in hostilities', the Harvard University air and missile warfare project, the San Remo Manual on non-international armed conflicts, and the UK Law of Armed Conflict Manual of 2004. It discusses the protection of the wounded and sick, the security aspects of belligerent occupation and, because this is constantly raised as a weakness of the law of armed conflict, on the implementation and enforcement of this branch of the law. Concerns about recent events, such as publication of the 'Torture Papers', conditions at Abu Ghraib, the perceived 'legal hole' at Guantanamo Bay or the United Kingdom's Baha Mousa inquiry, caused the author to reflect on the utility of the law of armed conflict given the apparent willingness of some to exploit loopholes in the law or deploy ingenious approaches to its interpretation to the detriment of humanity.

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