Outrages committed during violent conflict and as part of the 'war on terror' are not only an affront to human dignity -- they also violate the Geneva Conventions. This book examines recent high-profile cases of repeated and open abuse of the Conventions. The contributors explore why these and related violations of international humanitarian law cannot be viewed as anomalies, but must be regarded as part of a pattern which is set to undermine the Geneva Conventions as a whole. The contributors argue that an international system in which there is diminishing legal restraint on the use of force means that the world will become less secure and more volatile, even for those in the most powerful countries. Individuals everywhere face the prospect of a horrifying vulnerability. This is the first scholarly yet accessible work to consider the meanings of outrages such as the normalisation of torture, as well as the worrying new normative, technical and tactical developments that challenge the purpose and standing of the Geneva Conventions.
Sarah Perrigo is Postgraduate Research Director at the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford. Jim Whitman is a senior lecturer in the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford and general editor of the Palgrave Global Issues book series.
Preface Abbreviations and Acronyms 1. The Geneva Conventions and the Normative Tenor of International Relations Sonia Cardenas 2. The History and Status of the Geneva Conventions Wade Mansell and Karen Openshaw 3. The Principle of Proportionality in the Law of Armed Conflict Francoise Hampson 4. Civilian Protection - What's Left of the Norm? Stuart Gordon 5. The Protection of Detainees in International Humanitarian Law Keiichiro Okimoto 6. Non-Lethal Weapons: A Rose by any Other Name Nick Lewer 7. From 'Total War' to 'Total Operations' - Contemporary Doctrine and Adherence to IHL Bjorn Muller-Wille 8. The Paradox of Value Discourses Helen Dexter 9. Freeing Force from Legal Constraint Jim Whitman 10. Undermining International Humanitarian Law and the Politics of Liberal Democracies Sarah Perrigo About the Contributors Index