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War and Law since 1945$
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Geoffrey Best

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206996.001.0001

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How the Development of International Society Differed from the Legislators’ Expectations

(p.207) Entr’acte
War and Law since 1945

Geoffrey Blest

Oxford University Press

This section offers some explanations of the arrangements for the legal restraint of warfare which have not worked well. It explains that the arrangements made between 1945 and 1950 have had to struggle for survival, bearing a variety of defects, in circumstances of extraordinary difficulty. It further explains that the law of war is promoted as making possible the better restraint of warfare and is founded on two sets of assumptions: the one legal, the other political. It clarifies that the legal assumptions came straight from the international law of war as it has developed and hardened over the previous three centuries. It adds that the political assumptions underlying the post-war reconstruction are as a matter of course the same optimistic ones which brought into existence the United Nations Organization and the other intergovernmental institutions (World Bank, IMF, ICJ, etc.), professedly more generous, more just, and more peaceful.

Keywords:   warfare, law of war, legal assumptions, political assumptions, post-war reconstruction, United Nations Organization

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