Friday, May 1, 2009

Boothby: Weapons and the Law of Armed Conflict

William Boothby (Legal Branch, Royal Air Force) has published Weapons and the Law of Armed Conflict (Oxford Univ. Press 2009). Here's the abstract:

This book brings together the law of armed conflict governing the use of weapons into a single volume. It interprets these rules and discusses the factors influencing future developments in weapons law. After relating the historical evolution of weapons law, the book discusses the important customary principles that are the foundation of the subject, and gives a condensed account of the law that exists on the use of weapons. Thereafter, the treaties and customary rules applying to particular categories of weapon are stated and explained article by article and rule by rule in a series of chapters.

The legal review of weapons is also discussed, both from the perspective of how such reviews should be undertaken and how such a system should be established. Having stated the law as it is, the book then discusses the way in which this dynamic field of international law develops in the light of various influences. In the final chapter, the prospects for future rule change are discussed.

The focus of this book is thus more specific and detailed than that of the more general texts on the law of armed conflict. Throughout this book, a conscious effort has been made to explain the law as it applies to all states. The book offers an accessible style of writing and a clear layout that promotes ease of reference.