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The Nature of International Humanitarian Law

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The Nature of International Humanitarian Law

A Permissive or Restrictive Regime?

9781839107436 Edward Elgar Publishing
Anne Quintin, Head of the Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law, International Committee of the Red Cross
Publication Date: September 2020 ISBN: 978 1 83910 743 6 Extent: c 368 pp
This illuminating book explores the nature of international humanitarian law (IHL), so doing by asking whether it should be seen as a permissive or a restrictive regime. An experienced lawyer in the field, Anne Quintin offers an in-depth expert analysis of this highly debated topic, revealing the true nature of IHL and concluding that whilst IHL initially developed as a restrictive regime composed of prohibitions and prescriptions, it nevertheless contains within it rare permissions that allow states to act.

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This illuminating book explores the nature of international humanitarian law (IHL), so doing by asking whether it should be seen as a permissive or a restrictive regime. An experienced lawyer in the field, Anne Quintin offers an in-depth expert analysis of this highly debated topic.

In the eyes of many, the primary purpose of IHL is to impose restrictions on the actions of parties in armed conflicts, in order to protect victims. But IHL is also increasingly cited as an authority in permitting conduct that would be deemed unlawful in peacetime, for instance some cases of internment or targeting of persons. Considering both international and non-international armed conflicts, Quintin carefully and astutely peels away the layers of this debate, revealing the true nature of IHL and concluding that whilst IHL initially developed as a restrictive regime composed of prohibitions and prescriptions, it nevertheless contains within it rare permissions that allow states to act.

Utilising a scientific methodology to offer concrete and realistic outcomes, whilst couching differing interpretations of IHL in wider debates surrounding the nature of international law, this book will be of interest to all academics, practitioners and policy-makers in the field of international humanitarian law. Its analysis of how people are effectively protected during an armed conflict will also be beneficial for the wider humanitarian community.
Critical Acclaim
‘At a critical moment for IHL, Dr. Quintin’s monograph presents an all-too-rare find: it asks big and important questions and tackles them through sharp doctrinal and practical analysis. She frames key questions concerning the fundamental nature of the law governing war and masterfully draws out linkages between IHL, jus ad bellum, and international human rights law. In doing so, Dr. Quintin reveals that how these questions are ultimately answered will shape the future and fate of this body of law.'
– Naz Modirzadeh, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, US

‘IHL governs organized human behavior in its basest form – war. This being so, understanding the nature of this unique body of law would seem fundamental, yet discussion has long been beset by a binary debate over whether it is restrictive or permissive in character. In this sophisticated and incisive book, Anne Quintin takes on this persistent controversy, providing readers a “palette of nuance” that makes possible a coherent and internally consistent framework for analysis by both scholars and practitioners. The Nature of International Humanitarian Law is a “must read” for experts in the field.’
– Michael Schmitt, University of Reading School of Law, UK
Contents
Contents: Foreword Introduction PART I: Nature of International Humanitarian Law: restrictive or permissive? 1. Authority under IHL: what are we looking for? 2. Jus ad bellum and jus in bello 3. The principle of military necessity: restrictive or permissive? 4. Permissive Hague Law versus restrictive Geneva Law? 5. Overall Function of IHL PART II: The authority to intern during armed conflict 6. The authority to intern prisoners of war in international armed conflict 7. The authority to intern protected civilians in international armed conflict 8. The authority to intern in non-international armed conflict 9. The authority to intern in armed conflict and the right to liberty under IHRL PART III: The authority to target persons during armed conflict 10. The authority to target persons under IHL 11. The principle of proportionality under IHL: authority to launch attacks expected to cause non-excessive civilian losses? 12. The authority to target in armed conflict and the right to life under IHRL Conclusions Index


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