How does law protect in war?

16 March 2011

Cases, documents and teaching materials on contemporary practice in international humanitarian law. A selection of nearly three hundred case studies provides university professors, practitioners and students with the most up-to-date and comprehensive selection of documents on international humanitarian law (IHL) available. The publication presents the most fundamental and contemporary legal issues in armed conflict, and a series of course outlines for professors interested in setting up courses on IHL or in introducing its study.

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The authors aim to show that international humanitarian law is actually being applied in contemporary practice and that it guides those seeking answers to the legal problems arising from armed conflicts. They also hope to encourage practice-related teaching of IHL in universities world-wide and to provide experts in the field with a reliable reference work on contemporary practice.


Part I (Volume I + CD)

How does law protect in war? Volume I: outline of International Humanitarian Law

presents IHL carefully and systematically. The important and non-controversial elements of each topic are outlined in Introductory Texts. In addition, readers are given the possibility and indeed encouraged to expand their knowledge on a given subject through references to the pertinent parts of Cases and Documents reproduced in Part II. For each topic, references to articles from the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols and to the Rules of the ICRC Study on Customary IHL are also provided. Finally, a selected bibliography facilitates further study and deeper understanding of each topic.

Part II (Volumes II & III + CD)

How does law protect in war? Volume II: cases and documents

How does law protect in war? Volume III: cases and documents

constitutes the main body of the present publication. In this Part, the reader can find all the Cases and Documents in chronological and geographical order. The nature of each Case or Document varies according to the topic: the student or scholar will thus find judgements of national and international tribunals, Security Council resolutions, document excerpts and press releases. Each case and document has been carefully edited according to the specific topic(s) of IHL referred to in Part I. The originality of this section lies in the second part of each case, entitled Discussion, where the reader is asked questions that raise issues in relation to the case at hand.

Part III (CD)

How does law protect in war? Teaching outlines

provides advice and recommendations on how to teach IHL and a series of teaching outlines that may be useful for university professors who wish to introduce a course on IHL. The suggested teaching outlines are primarily for law faculties, but they also target faculties of journalism and political science. This Part ends with fourteen course outlines written by experts in IHL and two general exercises on IHL.


The first English edition of this work was published in 1999 and updated for the second edition in 2005. A parallel French version appeared in 2003. This third English edition contains significant revisions and updates: some 60 new cases and documents reflecting the most recent practice have been added, while 35 of those contained in the second edition have been expanded and updated, many Introductory Texts have been revised and the section on Teaching International Humanitarian Law has been considerably enhanced.


As of October 2014, "How does law protect in war?" is also available online, allowing easy navigation, through hyperlinks, from legal theory to humanitarian practice. New case studies on emerging humanitarian and legal issues will also be regularly added, supplying professors with up-to-date teaching materials. A search engine and an extensive index will permit users to perform quick searches using key words.



Part I

Part III

Part II volume I

Part II volume II