1 October 2007

This book results from a year-long examination of the Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law.


Elizabeth Wilmhurst

Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG

Distinguished Fellow, International Law Programme

Susan Breau


The Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law by Jean-Marie Henckaerts and Louise Doswald-Beck (Cambridge University Press, 2005) contains a unique collection of evidence of the practice of States and non-State actors in the field of international humanitarian law, together with the authors' assessment of that practice and their compilation of rules of customary law based on that assessment. The Study invites comment on its compilation of rules.

Perspectives on the ICRC Study on Customary International Humanitarian Law results from a year-long examination of the Study by a group of military lawyers, academics and practitioners, all with experience in international humanitarian law. The book discusses the Study, its methodology and its rules and provides a critical analysis of them. It adds its own contribution to scholarship on the interpretation and application of international humanitarian law.

Part I Setting the Scene - Theoretical Perspectives on International Law in the ICRC Study

1. The methodological framework of the study Daniel Bethlehem;

2. The approach to customary international law in the study Iain Scobbie;

3. Other areas of customary law in relation to the study Francoise Hampson;

Part II Status of Conflict and Combatants - The ICRC Study

4. Status of conflict Jelena Pejic;

5. Combatant status Anthony Rogers;

Part III Commentary on Selected Rules from the ICRC study

6. Targeting Michael Schmitt;

7. Protected persons and objects Susan C. Breau;

8. Environment Karen Hulme;

9. Methods of warfare William J. Fenrick;

10. Weapons of warfare Steven Haines;

11. Fundamental guarantees Francoise Hampson;

12. Prisoner of war status Agnieszka Jachec-Neale;

13. Displacement and displaced persons Ryszard Piotrowicz;

14. Implementation and compliance David Turns;

15. War crimes Charles Garraway;

Part IV Conclusions

16. Conclusions Elizabeth Wilmshurst.

Elizabeth Wilmshurst is an Associate Fellow of International Law, Chatham House and Visiting Professor at University College, London.

Susan Breau is Reader in International Law at the School of Law, University of Surrey, and was previously the Dorset Fellow in International Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.