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.
Traditionally, international law was
divided into the law of war and the lawofpeace, with no intermediate
stage between. 1 When
hostilities began, usually following a declaration of war, 2 and non-parties to
the conflict were held by the belligerents to be subject to the duties
of, and they claimed the rights pertaining to, neutrals, 3 war was recognised
and the law of war came into operation. Frequently
up to regulate conduct during armed conflict.
However, on some occasions the parties to a conflict do not intend
complete severance to take place and then some of their relations remain
subject to the international lawofpeace, as was the situation between
the United Kingdom and Egypt during the Suez operations of 1956, when
the Prime Minister of Great Britain maintained that there was no
The Gothic legacy of Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses
Elisabeth Bronfen and Beate Neumeier
mutual implication of war and politics. ‘War is the motor
behind institutions and order’, he explains, with the civil
lawofpeace itself a coded war:
therefore at war with one another; a battlefront runs
through the whole of society, continuously and permanently,
and it is this
Illinois University Press, 1974),
67–112; T. Todorov, The Conquest of America: The Question of the
Other (New York: Harper Perennial, 1992, translated from the French by R.
Howard) , 151–7, 186–90.
C. van Vollenhoven, The LawofPeace (London:
Macmillan, 1936), 61–3; Elbe, ‘The Evolution of the Concept of the
Just War in International Law’, 674–5; Nussbaum, ‘Just War
– A Legal
J. L. Brierly, The Law of Nations: An Introduction to the
International LawofPeace (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936, 2nd edition)
R. Redslob, Traité de droit de gens (Paris:
Librairie du Recueil Sirey, 1950), 23–4.
K. Strupp, ‘Le règles
expositions in Western thought on the lawofpeace and war.
In his first treatise, De Indis , Vitoria does not make any big issue of the conquistadors’ presence in the New World. All people have a natural right to travel, he argues. Thus, ‘the Spaniards have a right to travel into the lands in question and to sojourn there, provided they do no harm to the natives, and the natives may not prevent them’ (Vitoria 1934a , p. xxxvi). He does, however, make an issue of the fact that, when the Spaniards arrived, the Indians were clearly in peaceful possession of
stratagems of every description were condemned as being contrary to
civilised warfare’, while in Rome
the ius belli imposed
restrictions on barbarism, and condemned all acts of treachery.
. . . [Livy] tells us there were laws of war as well as lawsofpeace, and the Romans had learnt to put these into practice no
See e.g. J. L. Brierly, The Law of Nations: An
Introduction to the International LawofPeace (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
1936, 2nd edition) , 1; Oppenheim, International Law .
Gong, The Standard of ‘Civilization’ in
International Society , 69, 76.
J. K. Fairbank and E. O. Reischauer, China: Tradition and
international law and a body of international arbitration. 23 After the war the inheritance of the liberal tradition was evident in the very titles of the books that were put on reading lists of early International Relations courses – books like The Law of Nations, International Government, The Function of Law in International Community, The League of Nations and the Rule of Law and International Law. 24 James L. Brierly equipped his most influential book, The Law of Nations [ 1928 ], with the telling subtitle An Introduction to the International LawofPeace