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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 September 2021

Methods and Means

Methods and Means

(p.253) 8 Methods and Means
War and Law since 1945

Geoffrey Blest

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the laws of war defining pertinent rules and rights of the participants in the armed conflict to choose methods or means of warfare. It notes that the laws of war do not recognize in belligerents an unlimited power in the adoption of means of injuring the enemy. It also discusses the endeavour to distinguish combatants from civilians and improve the latter's chances of protection in wartime as embodied in the current Protocol's permissions and prohibitions. It provides interpretations on the Protocols attached to the 1981 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, citing prohibitions on the use of incendiary weapons, napalm not being specifically mentioned; prohibition on the use of any weapon, ‘the primary effect of which is to injure by fragments which in the human body escape detection by X-rays’; and prohibitions on the use of land mines, booby traps and other devices.

Keywords:   laws of war, warfare, belligerents, combatants, civilians, protection, Protocol, permissions and prohibitions, weapons

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