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The announcement by Presidents Obama and Castro in December 2014 of a major step towards normalisation of inter-state relations was part of what is primarily a political process, but normalisation implies a return to peaceful inter-state relations based on respect for fundamental principles of international law. This commentary explores the role that those principles have played in helping shape the confrontation between the United States and Cuba since the revolution of 1959, which has been underpinned by an economic, commercial and financial embargo of Cuba by the United States. This commentary argues that, from being an integral part of the bilateral dispute, international law can, at key moments, shift to form part of a solution. The changing political landscape raises the prospects of the parties turning to international law as a means of restoring normal relations between them resulting in, amongst other changes, the demise of the embargo.
The laws of war are facing new challenges from emerging technologies and changing methods of warfare, as well as the growth of human rights and international criminal law. International mechanisms of accountability have increased and international criminal law has greater relevance in the calculations of political and military leaders, yet perpetrators often remain at large and the laws of war raise numerous normative, structural and systemic issues and problems. This edited collection brings together leading academic, military and professional experts to examine the key issues for the continuing role and relevance of the laws of war in the twenty-first century. Marking Professor Peter Rowe's contribution to the subject, this book re-examines the purposes of the laws of war and asks whether existing laws found in treaties and customs work to achieve these purposes and, if not, whether they can be fixed by specific reforms or wholesale revision.