The developing law of weapons : humanity, distinction, and precautions in attack
The Oxford handbook of international law in armed conflict
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2014
This chapter covers seven key issues. First, the term "weapon" is discussed and a definition provided. Secondly, the weapons law element of LOAC will be explored, including how it relates to other existing bodies of law dealing with weapons. Thirdly, an account is given of the development of the conventional law of weapons, because the bulk of current weapons law is contained in treaties. Those treaties contain important principles underpinning weapons law and define its nature. A fourth aim of the chapter is to identify these principles and comment on their importance. Fifthly, since conventional law has a vital relationship with customary law, some comment is offered on the current state of the customary law of weapons. Sixthly, it returns to the issue of technology, in particular new technologies that represent significant challenges to existing law. Finally, some attempt is made to assess where the law might go in the future and what issues are likely to be on the agenda in the immediate term.