Protection of Civilians.

Author:Pozza, Maria A.
Position:Book review


Editors: Haidi Willmot, Ralph Mamiya, Scott Sheeran and Marc Weller

Published by: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016, 452pp, 70 [pounds sterling].

This book adopts a holistic approach towards the concept of civilian protections. Perhaps purposely, and in-light-of the impressive list of contributors, this book does not offer a streamlined definition of the protection of civilians, nor does it list the specific areas of international law which it seeks to discuss. Instead, the book is wide in scope and it is divided into three parts:

* Part one considers the roots of the issue associated with the protection of civilians, and in this way discusses ethical, conceptual, historical and theoretical paradigms in which the issue of the protection of civilians may arise;

* Part two considers the international legal framework which oversees the protection of civilians subject to the use of force, and also considers the conduct of hostilities, international humanitarian law and human rights law; and,

* Part three provides an overview of the protection of civilian in practice using the tools of diplomacy with attention to the politics surrounding, and practice of, applying international law in order to protect civilians.

Only selected chapters are considered within this review.

Part one begins with Hugo Slims chapter on 'Civilian, Distinction and the Compassionate View of War'. This chapter is a must read for all practitioners and academics in this field of international law. It presents a digestible and focused introductory analysis on the topic of the protection of civilians during periods of war and how international law has responded historically.

This is followed by Scott Sheeran and Catherine Kent's contribution in the second chapter titled "The Protection of Civilians, Responsibility to Protect and Humanitarian Intervention: Conceptual and Normative Interactions'. The authors have succinctly and clearly illustrated the importance of the conceptual analysis adopted when considering the issues surrounding the responsibility to protect civilians, which ranges between humanitarian intervention, collective security, just war theory and the responsibility to protect among other important concepts.

Following on from this, chapter three by Ralph Mamiya 'A History and Conceptual Development of the Protection of Civilians' provides a good introductory overview of the important aspects concerning the conceptual foundation and...

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