The Oxford guide to international humanitarian law
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2020
Domains of warfare are generally understood as the operational environments in which armed conflict occurs, and to which international humanitarian law therefore applies. Until recent decades, domains of armed conflict have been largely predicated on geospatial conceptions, denoting the physical places where armed conflict has customarily occured: land, sea, and air. This chapter first examines these three domains, and then considers how the idea of a domain might apply to armed conflict in outer space, and armed conflict involving cyber operations and other emerging capabilities. The aim is to give a general overview of the development of IHL in relation to these different operational contexts, and to analyse the concept itself of a ´domain of armed conflict´ and show how it shapes the way we think about and apply IHL. The chapter argues that the concept remains useful when analysing how IHL applies to armed conflict occuring in specific physical environments.