New Library Resources on War and the Law

Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Current events make it difficult to avoid the reality of war and the many legal issues surrounding it.  This month the Law Library has added several resources to the collection to assist researchers with furthering their understanding of how war and law intersect.

  • Jess Bravin, The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay (2013).

Jess Bravin, the Wall Street Journal’s Supreme Court correspondent, has covered the U.S. military’s prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the U.S. effort to create a parallel justice system for enemy aliens since the camp opened.  In The Terror Courts, Bravin writes about the many legal, political, and moral issues standing in the way of justice including issues of inadmissible evidence, clashes between military lawyers and civilian appointees, and political interference.  This timely resources is especially notable since the Obama administration plans to try the 9/11 conspirators at Guantanamo.

  • Heather Harrison Dinnis, Cyber Warfare and the Laws of War (2012).

The information revolution has changed not only society in general, but also how society wages war.  Dinnis’s work examines how attacks on computer networks are viewed in international law and how they are treated under the laws of armed conflict.  It also includes discussion of the applicability of international humanitarian law to computer network attacks.

  • George P. Fletcher and Jens David Ohlin, Defending Humanity: When Force is Justified and Why (2008).

When is war justified?  Fletcher and Ohlin use this work to offer a theory on the legality of war that provides guidelines for evaluating when interventions are justified using the United Nations Charter.  They do this by discussing the domestic criminal law concepts the UN Charter was originally based upon with a heavy focus on the concept of legitimate defense.  The authors feel this concept, which is lost in the English language version of the Charter, can provide politicians, courts, and scholars a solid base under international law for understanding when states can justifiably intervene with force and when they cannot.

These new resources are just a few of the resources about war and law available in the Law Library.  To learn more about these resources and others like them, please see a reference librarian.  For more information about new titles added to the Law Library’s collection, visit the New Acquisitions page at: