Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

About the author(s):

Rogier is a researcher at the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA) and works at the Dutch National Prosecutor’s Office. He holds LL.M-degrees from Utrecht University and the University of Nottingham. Before taking up his current positions, he was an associate legal officer in Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and a legal adviser at the International Humanitarian Law Division of the Netherlands Red Cross.

Rogier is an adjunct-lecturer at the Hague University of Applied Sciences, where he teaches international humanitarian law, and he co-convenes the Hague Initiative for Law and Armed Conflict.

A few weeks ago, Oxford University Press published The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law (edited by Cambridge’s Marc Weller, and Jake William Rylatt and Alexia Solomou), which is now starting to arrive at university libraries. These last few years, there has been a real proliferation of “handbooks” on the various branches of public international law, with all the major publishing houses competing over the same branches (on ICL, see for example here, here, and here). However, they are not really regular “An Introduction to …”-handbooks that you would use for your students, when teaching a (bachelor) course. Rather, they are collections of essays or chapters by established academics (and practitioners) on various relevant topics within that branch of PIL. In that sense, The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law is no different, as it is a collection of topics addressed by established academics and it is not really useful for a (bachelor) course. What is very different though, is the sheer size (almost 1400 pages) and comprehensiveness of topics addressed. In nearly 60 chapters virtually all issues related to the use of force are discussed in one or more chapters. It is no surprise then that – although the law on the use of force is inherently state-orientated – various chapters will be of use the readers of this blog.

Examples include chapters on “Protection of Civilians in Security Council Practice” (Haidi Willmot and Raplh Mamiya), armed attacks by NSAs (Kimberley Trapp), and “Action against Host States of Terrorist Groups” (Lindsay Moir). Elizabeth Chadwick builds upon her previous work on “Self-determination Movements”, and Marc Weller discusses the related “Unifying Theory of Forcible Action on Behalf of Peoples and Populations”. Besides chapters on armed conflict, resource conflicts en self-defence, the ones of “Private Military Companies” (Ian Ralby) and “Piracy” (Douglas Guilfoyle) deal with armed groups.

The full table of contents (which is quite different from the ones on the UK and US websites of OUP) can be found here.

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