Recognition of Belligerency and the Law of Armed Conflict

ISBN : 9780197507056

Robert McLaughlin
296 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Mar 2020
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Prior to the progressive development of the law of armed conflict heralded by the 1949 Geneva Conventions-most particularly in relation to the concepts of international and non-international armed conflict-the customary doctrine on recognition of belligerency functioned for almost 200 years as the definitive legal scheme for differentiating internal conflict from "civil wars," in which the law of war as applicable between states applied de jure.

Employing a legal historical approach, this book describes the thematic and practical fundamentals of the doctrine, and analyzes some of the more significant challenges to its application. In doing so, it assesses whether, how, and why the doctrine on recognition of belligerency was considered "fit for purpose," and seeks to inform debate as to its continuity and utility within the modern scheme of the law of armed conflict.


Introduction by Professor Michael N. Schmitt


Chapter I: The Scope and Structure of This Book

Chapter II: The Customary Three Level Scheme Part I - Rebellion and Insurgency

Chapter III: The Customary Three Level Scheme Part II - Belligerency

Chapter IV: The Purposes of Recognition of Belligerency

Chapter V: Some Challenging Issues and Case Studies in Recognition of Belligerency

Chapter VI: What if Recognition of Belligerency Remains Legally Available?


About the author: 

Robert McLaughlin is Professor of Military Security Law and Director of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at the University of New South Wales, Canberra.

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