Third edition
Author: Leslie C. Green

It has been accepted since antiquity that some restraint should be observed during armed conflict. This book examines the apparent dichotomy and introduces any study of the law of armed conflict by considering the nature and legality of war. The purpose of what is known as the law of armed conflict or, more commonly, the law of war is to reduce the horrors inherent therein to the greatest extent possible, bearing in mind the political purpose for which the war is fought, namely to achieve one's policies over one's enemies. The discussion on the history and sources of the law of armed conflict pays most attention to warfare on land because that is the region for which most agreements have been drawn up, although attention has been accorded to both aerial and naval warfare where it has been considered necessary. Traditionally, international law was divided into the law of war and the law of peace, with no intermediate stage between. Although diplomatic relations between belligerents are normally severed once a conflict has commenced, there remain a number of issues, not all of which are concerned with their inter-belligerent relations, which require them to remain in contact. War crimes are violations of the and customs of the law of armed conflict and are punishable whether committed by combatants or civilians, including the nationals of neutral states. The book also talks about the rights and duties of the Occupying Power, civil defence, branches of international law and prisoners of war.

Leslie C. Green

Classic position Historically, international law is concerned only with the relations between states. As a result, the law of armed conflict developed in relation to inter-state conflicts and was not in any way concerned with conflicts occurring within the territory of any state or with a conflict between an imperial power and a colonial

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

General applicability of the law In the light of the preceding chapters it is possible to draw attention to what may be regarded as the basic rules and principles underlying the law of armed conflict on land, at sea or in the air. These rules and principles are applicable regardless of the legality or justness of the conflict, and even if

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

The position in antiquity As pointed out in Chapter 1, it has been accepted since antiquity that some restraint should be observed during armed conflict. Already in the Old Testament there are instances of limitations imposed by God. Thus we read in Deuteronomy, 2 for example, that when attacking heathen tribes among the inhabitants of Canaan the

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

substance. It becomes necessary, therefore, to examine this apparent dichotomy and to introduce any study of the law of armed conflict by considering the nature and legality of war. Before doing so, however. it is as well to bear in mind that Cicero maintained, ‘silent enim leges inter armes . . . Salus populi suprema est lex.’ 2 Clausewitz 3 even went so far as to assert

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

The purpose of armed conflict is to defeat the adverse party. The law of armed conflict permits only such actions as are imperative for this purpose and forbids acts which go beyond it and cause injury to persons or damage to property not essential to achieving that end. 1 The law restricts both the means of waging war and the objects against which such means may be employed, and the basic

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

or those of its nationals are likely to be seriously affected by the intensity of the conflict it may proclaim its neutrality, and insist upon receiving, even from the legitimate government, all the rights that a neutral would have if the conflict were an international armed conflict. Likewise, the parties involved may consider that the conflict has reached a stage of intensity when it is to their advantage to

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

The difficulties Like other branches of international law, the law of armed conflict has, as such, no permanent means to secure its observance. However. the International Criminal Court established by treaty in 1998 has, for parties to its Statute, 1 jurisdiction over war crimes. Moreover, since it is generally accepted

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

land, which may be considered to be declaratory of customary rules relating to armed conflict in general. These principles are supplemented by such rules as are necessary by reason of the theatre in which the conflict is being waged. Area of operations The law of maritime warfare 3 relates to conflict between naval vessels – warships – at sea, the relations

in The contemporary law of armed conflict
Leslie C. Green

and of those claiming to be outside the conflict. The international law of armed conflict grants rights and imposes duties upon these non-participants, which are known as neutrals and the relevant legal regime as neutrality. 1 So long as the activities of the non-participants do not interfere with the legitimate activities of the belligerents or benefit one at the expense of another, neutrals are

in The contemporary law of armed conflict