Breakfast Briefing: Book launch with Nobuo Hayashi

‘Military Necessity: The Art, Morality and Law of War’

(discussant: Cornelius Wiesener, postdoc, iCourts)

What does it mean to say that international humanitarian law (IHL) strikes a realistic and meaningful balance between military necessity and humanity, and that the law therefore 'accounts for' military necessity? To what consequences does the law 'accounting for' military necessity give rise? Through real-life examples and careful analysis, this book challenges received wisdom on the subject by devising a new theory that not only reaffirms Kriegsräson's fallacy but also explains why IHL has no reason to restrict or prohibit militarily unnecessary conduct on that ground alone. Additionally, the theory hypothesises greater normative significance for humanitarian and chivalrous imperatives when they conflict with IHL rules. By combining international law, jurisprudence, military history, strategic studies, and moral philosophy, this book reveals how rational fighting relates to ethical fighting, how IHL incorporates contrasting values that shape its rules, and how law and theory adapt themselves to war's evolutions.

About the author

Nobuo Hayashi is an Associate Senior Lecturer at the Swedish Defence University. He also holds visiting professorships with the University for Peace in Costa Rica and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute in Italy. He specialises in international humanitarian law, international criminal law, jus ad bellum and international weapons law. He has twenty years of experience performing advanced research, authoring court submissions, advising international prosecutors, teaching post-graduate students and speaking at academic and diplomatic conferences. His recent publications include Military Necessity: The Art, Morality and Law of War (CUP 2020) and The Legitimacy of International Criminal Tribunals (CUP 2017; co-edited with Cecilia M. Bailliet). Degrees earned: PhD (Leiden), LLM (Cambridge), Diplôme d’études supérieures (HEI/Geneva), BSc Foreign Service (Georgetown).

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