The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict

About the author(s):

Katharine Fortin is an Associate Professor at Utrecht University where she teaches IHL and IHRL. Before joining Utrecht University, she worked at the ICTY, ICC and Norton Rose Fulbright. She is the author of The Accountability of Armed Groups under Human Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2017) which won the 2018 Lieber Prize. She has written widely about the framework of law that applies to armed groups in non-international armed conflicts and is one of the editors of the Armed Groups and International Law blog.

9780199559695_140On 13th March 2014, the Oxford University Press brought out The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict. The book brings together writings from a wealth of experts and stretches to a massive 1,000 pages. Edited by Andrew Clapham and Paola Gaeta, its aim is to:-

Provide an authoritative overview of key topics related to the application of international law in armed conflict

Examine different branches of international law, including humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, and the law of neutrality

Feature essays by leading scholars and practitioners with an emphasis on understanding key concepts and analysing emerging problems related to terrorism, new types of weapons, international criminal law, and the interaction between humanitarian law and human rights law

Over the past ten years the content and application of international law in armed conflict has changed dramatically, and many questions regarding its application remain. Which human rights violations or war crimes allegations result in exclusion from the refugee regime? What human rights protections apply to someone declared an unlawful combatant? Which human rights obligations apply to the actions of armed forces acting abroad?

The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict aims to provide authoritative and comprehensive study of the role of international law in armed conflicts, engaging in a broad analysis of international humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, international criminal law, environmental law, and the law on the use of force.

The Handbook consists of 35 Chapters in seven parts. Part A provides the historical background and sets out some of the contemporary challenges. Part B considers the relevant sources of international law. Part C describes the different legal regimes: land warfare, air war fare, maritime warfare, the law of occupation, the law applicable to peace operations, and the law of neutrality. Part D introduces crucial concepts in international humanitarian law: weapons and the concepts of superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering, the principle of distinction, proportionality, genocide and crimes against humanity, grave breaches and war crimes, and internal armed conflict. Part E looks at fundamental rights: the right to life, the prohibition on torture, the right to fair trial, economic, social and cultural rights, the protection of the environment, the protection of cultural property, the human rights of the members of the armed forces, and the protection of children. Part F covers important issues such as: the use of force, terrorism, unlawful combatants, the application of human rights in times of armed conflict, refugee law, and the issues of gender in times of armed conflict. Part G deals with accountability issues including those related to private security companies and armed groups, as well as questions of state responsibility brought before national courts and issues related to transitional justice.

The Table of Contents is as follows:-

A. Introduction
1: P. Haggenmacher: The Law of War: An Historical Perspective
2: A. Cassese: Current Challenges to International Humanitarian Law
3: J. Kellenberger: The Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross
B. Sources
4: T. Meron: Customary Humanitarian Law Today: From the Academy to the Court Room
5: R. Kolb & K. Del Mar: Treaties in Armed Conflict
C. Legal Regimes
6: Y. Sandoz: Land Warfare
7: M. Schmitt: Air Warfare
8: W.H. Von Heinegg: Maritime Warfare
9: P. Spoerri: Law of Occupation
10: D. Fleck: The Law Applicable to Peace Operations
11: P. Seger: The Law of Neutrality
D. Key Concepts for Humanitarian Law
12: S. Haines: Prohibited Weapons and the Issue of Superfluous Injury and Unnecessary Suffering
13: N. Melzer: The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants
14: E. Cannizzaro: Proportionality
15: P. Gaeta: Genocide and other Crimes Against Humanity in Armed Conflict
16: G. Abi-Saab: Grave Breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other War Crimes
17: E. David: Internal (non-international) Armed Conflicts
E. Key Rights in Times of Armed Conflict
18: W. Schabas: The Right to Life
19: M. Nowak: Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
20: D. Weissbrodt: Fair Trial
21: E. Riedel: Economy Social and Cultural Rights
22: J.M. Henckaerts: Protection of the Environment
23: R. O Keefe: Protection of Cultural Property
24: P. Rowe: Human Rights of Members of the Armed Forces
F. Key Issues in Times of Armed Conflict
25: G. Distefano: Aggression, Self-Defence and the Legitimate Use for Force
26: A. Bianchi & Y. Naqvi: Terrorism
27: K. Dörmann: Unlawful Combatants
28: D. Jinks: The Applicability of Human Rights Law in Times of Armed Conflict
29: V. Chetail: Refugee Law and the Rights of the Displaced in Times of Armed Conflict
30: C. Chinkin: Gender and Armed Conflict
31: J. Cockayne: Private Military and Security Companies
G. Answering for violations of the Law
32: A. Clapham: The Accountability of Armed Groups
33: C. Tomuschat: State responsibility and the Individual Right to Compensation before National Courts
34: N. Michel: Transitional Justice

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