Autonomous Weapon Systems and the Law of Armed Conflict

Autonomous Weapon Systems and the Law of Armed Conflict book cover

Tim McFarland

Cambridge University Press 2020

viii + 186 pages

ISBN 9781108499743 (hardback)
ISBN 9781108607056 (ebook)

Publisher’s website |  UQ Library catalogue

For policymakers, this book explains the ramifications under international humanitarian law of a major new field of weapon development with a focus on questions currently being debated by governments, the United Nations and other bodies. Based on a clear explanation of the principles of autonomous systems and a survey of technologies under active development as well as some that are in use today, it provides a thorough legal analysis grounded on a clear understanding of the technological realities of autonomous weapon systems. For legal practitioners and scholars, it describes the legal constraints that will apply to use of autonomous systems in armed conflict and the measures that will be needed to ensure that the efficacy of the law is maintained. More generally, it serves as a case study in identifying the legal consequences of use of autonomous systems in partnership with, or in place of, human beings.

  • Takes a ‘ground up’ analytical approach based on a thorough overview of the current and near future state of autonomous technologies
  • Provides a close examination of the interface between technological change and its legal effects, which can be applied to legal analyses in other fields employing autonomous technologies
  • Focuses on questions being discussed at the ongoing UN-hosted meetings between parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, ensuring the legal analysis is topical and immediately applicable to issues currently being considered by regulatory and policy-making bodies
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Ensuring Respect for International Humanitarian Law

Ensuring Respect for International Humanitarian Law book coverEve Massingham and Annabel McConnachie (editors)

Routledge 2020

xvi + 278 pages

ISBN 9780367186890 (hardback)
ISBN 9780429197628 (ebook)

Publisher’s website | UQ Library catalogue

This book explores the nature and scope of the provision requiring States to ‘ensure respect’ for international humanitarian law (IHL) contained within Common Article 1 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. It examines the interpretation and application of this provision in a range of contexts, both thematic and country-specific. Accepting the clearly articulated notion of ‘respect’ for IHL, it builds on the existing literature studying the meaning of ‘ensure respect’ and outlines an understanding of the concept in situations such as enacting implementing legislation, diplomatic interactions, regulating private actors, targeting, detaining persons under IHL in non-international armed conflict, protecting civilians (including internally displaced populations) and prosecuting war crimes. It also considers topical issues such as counter-terrorism and foreign fighting.

The book will be a valuable resource for practitioners, academics and researchers. It provides much needed practical reflection for States as to what ensuring respect entails, so that governments are able to address these obligations.

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Disputed Territories and International Criminal Law

Disputed Territories and International Criminal Law Book coverIsraeli Settlements and the International Criminal Court

Simon McKenzie

Routledge 2019

xii + 245 pages

ISBN 9780367147822 (hardback)
ISBN 9781003004004 (ebook)

Publisher’s website | UQ Library catalogue

It has been over 50 years since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. It is estimated that there are over 600,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and they are supported, protected, and maintained by the Israeli state. This book discusses whether international criminal law could apply to those responsible for allowing and promoting this growth, and examines what this application would reveal about the operation of international criminal law. It provides a comprehensive analysis of how the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court could apply to the settlements in the West Bank through a close examination of the potential operation of two relevant Statute crimes: first, the war crime of transfer of population; and second, the war crime of unlawful appropriation of property. It also addresses the threshold question of whether the law of occupation applies to the West Bank, and how the principles of individual criminal responsibility might operate in this context. It explores the relevance and coherence of the legal arguments relied on by Israel in defence of the legality of the settlements and considers how these arguments might apply in the context of the Rome Statute. The work also has wider aims, raising questions about the Rome Statute’s capacity to meet its aim of establishing a coherent and legally effective system of international criminal justice.

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Criminal Jurisdiction over Armed Forces Abroad

Criminal Jurisdiction over Armed Forces Abroad book coverRain Liivoja

Cambridge University Press 2017

xxxi + 301 pages

ISBN 9781107039506 (hardback)
ISBN 9781108465144 (paperback)
ISBN 9781108365079 (ebook)

Publisher’s website | UQ Library catalogue

Rain Liivoja explores why, and to what extent, armed forces personnel who commit offences abroad are prosecuted under their own country's laws. After clarifying several conceptual uncertainties in the doctrine of jurisdiction and immunities, he applies the doctrine to the extraterritorial deployment of service personnel. Comparing the law and practice of different states, the author shows the sheer breadth of criminal jurisdiction that countries claim over their service personnel. He argues that such claims disclose a discrete category of jurisdiction, with its own scope and rationale, which can be justified as a matter of international law. By distinguishing service jurisdiction as a distinct category, the analysis explains some of the peculiarities of military criminal law and also provides a basis for extending national criminal law to private military contractors serving the state. This book is essential for scholars and practitioners in international and criminal law, especially in military contexts.

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Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict

Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict book coverRain Liivoja and Tim McCormack (editors)

Routledge 2016

lvi + 665 pages

ISBN 9780415640374 (hardback)
ISBN 9780367581640 (paperback)
ISBN 9780203798362 (ebook)

Publisher’s website | UQ Library catalogue

The law of armed conflict is a key element of the global legal order yet it finds itself in a state of flux created by the changing nature of warfare and the influences of other branches of international law. The Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict provides a unique perspective on the field covering all the key aspects of the law as well as identifying developing and often contentious areas of interest.

The handbook will feature original pieces by international experts in the field, including academics, staff of relevant NGOs and (former) members of the armed forces. Made up of six parts in order to offer a comprehensive overview of the field, the structure of the handbook is as follows:

  • Part I: Fundamentals
  • Part II: Principle of distinction
  • Part III: Means and methods of warfare
  • Part IV: Special protection regimes
  • Part V: Compliance and enforcement
  • Part VI: Some contemporary issues

Throughout the book, attention is paid to non-international conflicts as well as international conflicts with acknowledgement of the differences. The contributors also consider the relationship between the law of armed conflict and human rights law, looking at how the various rules and principles of human rights law interact with specific rules and principles of international humanitarian law in particular circumstances.

The Routledge Handbook of the Law of Armed Conflict provides a fresh take on the contemporary laws of war and is written for advanced level students, academics, researchers, NGOs and policy-makers with an interest in the field.

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