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International Humanitarian Law

Rules, Controversies, and Solutions to Problems Arising in Warfare Marco Sassòli, Director, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and Professor, University of Geneva, Switzerland
International humanitarian law (IHL) protects persons and property affected by armed conflicts. Focusing on the controversies that impact IHL in practice, this much-anticipated book from leading expert Marco Sassòli discusses when IHL applies, its substantive rules, how to ensure its respect and whether the traditional distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts remains relevant.
Extent: 720 pp
Hardback Price: $250.00 Web: $225.00
Publication Date: 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78643 854 6
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $69.95 Web: $55.96
Publication Date: August 2019
ISBN: 978 1 83910 048 2
Availability: Not yet published (pre-order)
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  • Law - Academic
  • Human Rights
  • Public International Law
International humanitarian law (IHL) protects persons and property affected by armed conflicts. Focusing on the controversies that impact IHL in practice, this much-anticipated book from leading expert Marco Sassòli discusses when IHL applies, its substantive rules, how to ensure its respect and whether the traditional distinction between international and non-international armed conflicts remains relevant.

Sassòli draws on a depth of practical experience to provide invaluable insight and comprehensive guidance on the rules protecting certain categories of persons (for example, civilians, wounded, etc.) during conflict and the rules governing different types of conduct (for example, occupation, naval warfare, etc.). The book examines how these rules interact with other branches of international law, such as human rights and international criminal law, and how the rules are applied to non-State armed groups. Cross-cutting issues, including terrorism, autonomous weapons, cyber warfare, gender and cultural heritage, are also addressed, providing readers with a well-rounded view of IHL and associated concerns.

Structured in a clear and accessible way, this book will be the turn-to resource for scholars, lawyers, civil servants and other actors directly involved in the sphere of IHL. It will also be the essential text for forthcoming generations of students, giving them a solid understanding of both the rules relating to IHL and how they are implemented in practice.
‘Professor Sassòli has combined his first hand experience of the challenges facing the application of international humanitarian law with his scholarly understanding of international law. He sets out the details necessary for a complete understanding of humanitarian law but also highlights the contemporary controversies. One of the many qualities of this book is that the author always offers us his considered view on what are the best solutions to the dilemmas he highlights. This book is destined to become an authoritative point of reference for generations to come.’
– Andrew Clapham, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland

‘This book should be read by anyone teaching international humanitarian law. Its use in class will enliven discussion and will assist students to develop a better understanding of how to think about, and use, IHL. Much of Professor Sassòli’s analysis of the controversies that exist in warfare will assist researchers to think more deeply about the interpretation and application of IHL.’
– Bruce Oswald, Melbourne Law School and Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, Australia

‘There is literally no-one more qualified to write a textbook on international humanitarian law than Marco Sassòli. This book will inevitably become a leading resource in the field. It does not aim to comprehensively cover all of IHL, but focuses on issues and controversies of greatest contemporary relevance, with a remarkable degree of rigour, precision, and clarity.’
– Marko Milanovic, University of Nottingham, UK

‘Marco Sassoli has done it again. International Humanitarian Law is the long-needed companion text to his monumental effort, How Does the Law Protect in War? (with Bouvier and Quintin). A succinct and accessible treatment of the key principles and rules of IHL, it moves beyond doctrine to perceptively examine the dynamic of implementing IHL in law and practice. Sassòli also takes on the key issues around which contemporary IHL debates are circling. . . and does so with the clarity and precision that has long-marked his work. No IHL student, scholar or practitioner should be without it.’
– Michael Schmitt, University of Exeter, UK




Contents: 1. Introduction 2. History 3. A general overview of IHL based upon its major delimitations 4. The sources of IHL 5. Respect of the law 6. Scope of application: when does IHL apply? 7. International and non-international armed conflicts 8. The protective regimes 9. IHL and other branches of international law 10. Selected cross-cutting issues 11. Conclusion