International law and armed conflict exist in a symbiotic relationship. In some cases, law shapes conflict proactively by imposing normative limits in advance of the appearance of proscribed conduct. Much more commonly, armed conflict either reveals lacunae in the law or demonstrates how law designed for yesterday’s wars falls short when applied to contemporary conflict. When that happens, international law reacts by allowing provisions to fall into desuetude, embracing new interpretations of existing prescriptions, or generating new norms through practice or codification.
In the 21st Century, both international security and armed conflict are the subject of arguably unprecedented sea changes. As a result, claims that both the jus ad bellum and jus in bello are unwieldy and ill-fitting in the context of modern hostilities have surfaced prominently. Whether one agrees with such dire assessments, what has become clear is that armed conflict is increasingly exposing faultlines in the law governing the resort to force.
The intent of this collection of essays in honour of Professor Yoram Dinstein on the occasion of his 70th birthday is to explore such faultlines, first by identifying them and then by assessing their consequences. In a sense, then, the essays, contributed by the top minds in the field, will serve to assist academics and practitioners to anticipate pressure on the law governing armed conflict and, to the extent possible, react accordingly. Paralleling Professor Dinstein’s classic works – War, Aggression, and Self-Defence and The Conduct of Hostilities Under the Law of International Armed Conflict − the book addresses both ius ad bellum and ius in bello topics.
Michael N. Schmitt is Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Law at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
Jelena Pejic is a Legal Adviser at the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland.
'The contributions compiled by Michael Schmitt and Jelena Pejic provide an excellent overview of the challenges facing the law governing the use of force and the conduct of armed conflict today. For those who are experts in this field, it is recommended to read the book and it will constitute a very comprehensive starting point fot the amateur humanitarian lawyer.'
Mr Vincent Roobaert, NATO Legal Gazette, Issue 16, September 2008.
Preface; Professor Yoram Dinstein; Curriculum Vitae; Professor Yoram Dinstein; List of Academic Publications; About the Contributors; 1 A Revival of the Just War Theory? Ivan Shearer;
2 Rethinking Collective Security Thomas Franck;3 Topographies of Force Dino Kritsiotis; 4 Claims to Pre-emptive Uses of Force: Some Trends and Projections and Their Implications for World Order W. Michael Reisman*and Andrea Armstrong; 5 The Temporal Dimension of Self-Defense: Anticipation, Preemption, Prevention and Immediacy Terry D. Gill; 6 Responding to Transnational Terrorism under the Jus ad Bellum: A Normative Framework Michael N. Schmitt; 7 Is U.S. Adherence to the Rule of Law in International Affairs Feasible? John F. Murphy; 8 The Military Action in Iraq and International Law Ruth Wedgwood; 9 Ius ad Bellum and Ius in BelloThe Separation between the Legality of the Use of Force and Humanitarian Rules to Be Respected in Warfare: Crucial or Outdated? Marco Sassòli; 10 21st Century Conflict and International Humanitarian Law: Status Quo or Change? Kenneth Watkin; 11 The Law of Weaponry – Is It Adequate? Bill Boothby; 12 “Combatants” – Substance or Semantics? Charles H.B. Garraway; 13 “Unlawful/Enemy Combatants:” Interpretations and Consequences Jelena Pejic; 14 Ghosts in the Machine: Some Legal Issues Concerning US Military Contractors in Iraq Avril McDonald; 15 Leaders, Courtiers and Command Responsibility in Shakespeare Theodor Meron; 16 Civilian Detentions in Iraq Andru E. Wall; 17 Transformative Military Occupation: Applying the Laws of War and Human Rights Adam Roberts; 18 The Adequacy of International Humanitarian Law Rules on Belligerent Occupation: To What Extent May Security Council Resolution 1483 Be Considered a Model for Adjustment? Rüdiger Wolfrum; 19 The Separation Fence in the International Court of Justice and the High Court of Justice: Commonalities, Differences and Specifics Fania Domb; 20 “Benevolent” Third States in International Armed Conflicts: The Myth of the Irrelevance of the Law of Neutrality Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg; Index.