In this unique and highly readable book, written for the intelligent layperson, one of the world's leading experts in international law uses historical case studies to examine the basis on which war is waged and how the global legal environment shapes current events.
The international rules governing the use of military force are under unprecedented scrutiny following the removal of Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein in wars not sanctioned by the United Nations (UN). Michael Byers' authoritative book addresses five broad issues: u.n. Security Council authorization, self-defence against terrorism, pre-emptive war, humanitarian and pro-democratic intervention, and the protection of civilians and combatants during armed conflict. His conclusion is that the global legal environment matters and its influence is often understated and undervalued. War Law is an informative and stimulating read about these continually divisive, critically important issues.
"Beginning with the black-letter law...Byers...narrates the often-creative, sometimes-flawed arguments nations have mobilized to justify their actions."
"A primer for the layperson who wants to deconstruct the new order."
"Byers is one of the strongest writers I have come across recently, presenting very well structured and very clearly written arguments on his subjects."
"Clear and informative, his account is particularly valuable at a time when there is a worldwide debate, arising largely from the Iraq situation...about the circumstances in which it is legally appropriate for one country to use force against another or for international intervention on humanitarian grounds."
"To readers willing to put in the work, this dense book provides the answers."
"A thoughtful introduction to a complex, often baffling subject."
"Byers is...the very model of the modern globetrotting academic."