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Law of Armed Conflict
University of Mississippi School of Law
Brower, Charles H.

Law of Armed Conflict
I.                   Branches
Ad bellum v in bello
Law governing recourse to force vs. law governing application of force
II.                Content
Prohibition on threat or use of force in international relations
–          Exceptions for unilateral use of force and inherent right of self-defense
–          Collective action through U.N.
–          Unilateral intervention in humanitarian missions
4 issues:
–          Selection of targets
–          Selection of different weapons
–          Treatment of combatants (during hostilities and after capture)
–          Protection of civilians including during and after hostilities
3 themes throughout semester
–          What purpose does separation of ad bellum vs in bello serve?
–          How can we make laws and institutions operate more efficiently?
–          How does it apply to us?
(4 administrative detailsJ
–          Come to class & on time
–          Participation
–          Final on Dec 5
–          No class week of Sept 14th
III.             Sources
U.N. Charter Art 2(4) or a? decides – governs ad bellum
Geneva Convention 3 (treatment of P.O.W.s), and 4 (treatment of civilians, and another – governs in bello
IV.             Institutions
U.N. and specifically Security Council
Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch deals with treatment of civilians (NGOs): report to people at large, rather than one government
General Assembly or Security Council makes votes depending on issue
Next class – war as opposed to armed conflict as opposed to use of force
Iraq war 1 & 2:
Practical reason that Iraq invaded Kuwait
–          Oil
o   Barely any coastline in Iraq, whereas Kuwait a lot more, and thus, a lot more oil
–          Also historically part of Iraq, only separated by colonials
–          Accused Kuwait of undercutting oil prices set by OPEC
Iraq decided to take the route of “supporting true regime” instead of “they’re stealing our oil” b/c was much easier and quicker to be able to use force… jus ad bellum prohibits just invading and attacking
On weapons – must choose weapons capable of distinguishing between combatant and civilian
Definition of war (p. 4)
Advantages of declaration of war vs. non-official declaration
Requirements for non-declaration of war military reprisals – 1) proportionality, 2) unsatisfied demand, 3) justified by necessity
Meaning of armed conflict:
Non-international armed conflict – 1) protracted 2) armed violence between a 3) government and a 4) organized armed group
U.N. Charter Article 2(4) – prohibits all uses of force, war and lesser actions except in self-defense or as mandated by the Security Council, saying:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of for

onvention regulations on P.O.W.s seriously.
Civil War led to milestones for jus in bello rules, specifically w/ the Lieber Code.
Article 15, Lieber Code – can kill any armed enemies, but must try to avoid killing others unless unavoidable
Article 19 – intolerable wars tend to be brief
Article 49 – P.O.W.s
Court martial             Military Commission
US Troops                   Enemy Combatants
Judge+jury                  Panel of officers
U.C.M.J.                     Ad hoc
Plenary appeal            Some appeals, but limited
Yamashita v. Styer
–          No doubt that Yamashita did not participate in any atrocities, nor order them but questions as to whether he knew of them (prosecution, according to dissent, that there was no knowledge)
–          Sd that he was in charge, so was thus responsible
o   b/c permitted them to commit atrocities
o   sd that b/c degrees of atrocities were so widespread, that there must have been some kind of knowledge by Yamashita
–          Is tried and convicted to hang, so appeals to Supreme Ct by habeus
o   Challenges jurisdiction of military court