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International Law and Policy on the Protection of Civilians
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Book description

This is the first comprehensive treatment of international law and policy on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. In addition to international humanitarian and human rights law, jus ad bellum, disarmament law, and international criminal law are all critical to civilian protection. The book offers in-depth analysis and explanation of the normative framework while also outlining and discussing the policies of concerned States and international and humanitarian organisations. The role of the United Nations as a key actor is considered along with regional organisations such as the African Union, the European Union, and NATO. Particular attention is given to those at direct risk of harm during armed conflict, including children, women, persons with disabilities, and LGBTI persons.


‘International Law and Policy on the Protection of Civilians is a masterful guide to the multiple legal, political and normative influences that are transforming our understanding of obligations to protect civilians from violence. The result is a rich depiction not only of sources of civilian protection, but of the complex ways in which expectations evolve in a decentralised international system. Casey-Maslen and Vestner have rendered an invaluable service by preparing a volume that will be indispensable to state officials, military leaders, non-governmental organisations and anyone who cares about protecting the innocent from the ravages of conflict.'

Mitt Regan - McDevitt Professor of Jurisprudence, Co-Director, Center on National Security, Georgetown Law Center

‘In this wide-ranging and meticulously researched book, Stuart Casey-Maslen and Tobias Vestner explain with remarkable clarity the many ways in which international organisations, states and non-state actors protect civilians in and outside of armed conflict. From classical international law on the use of force and international humanitarian law to the evolving landscape of state protection policies or frequently overlooked topics, such as protecting older people and persons with disabilities, this book offers the most systematic treatment of the Protection of Civilians concept to date. It promises to be a go-to resource for academics and practitioners for years to come.'

Patryk I. Labuda - Assistant Professor of (International) Criminal Law, University of Amsterdam

‘Anyone who has had anything to do with ‘PoC' will know how hard it is to translate sincere intentions into meaningful actions. This book by Stuart Casey-Maslen and Tobias Vestner makes a major contribution to building a better understanding of the topic and improving implementation. Easy to read and impressive in scope, it disentangles compartmentalised thinking on PoC and doesn't duck the issue of where still more clarity is needed. For those seeking more light on the grey area of Protection of Civilians, this publication will have enduring relevance and will serve them well.'

Adrian Foster - Major General (Retd), CMG MBE, previous Deputy Military Adviser, UN Peacekeeping; Acting/Force Commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

‘This book is an insightful resource on civilian protection for everyone, from students to seasoned practitioners. The analysis of contemporary practice, focus on the normative legal frameworks, and discussion of different PoC approaches across international and regional organisations make it a definitive source on the topic. It provides a fantastic foundation from which political and military leaders, practitioners and the next generation of protection advocates can continue the vital work of further developing the ability to protect civilians in future conflicts.'

Marla B. Keenan - Adjunct Senior Fellow, Strengthening NATO's Ability to Protect, The Stimson Center

‘This book is important. It brings together and explicates the legal and policy architecture for Protection of Civilians that has been coming into focus over recent years. It is an important added value for anyone seeking to understand that architecture, and is a most welcome contribution to the literature.'

Todd F. Buchwald - Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School, former Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice, United States Department of State

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