Law as a Weapon of War
Every newly-born term, whether derived from academia or practice in the field, needs its own grand introduction which poses a basis for its future theoretical systemization and implementation in the doctrine. In its book, Professor of law Orde Kittrie perfectly achieves this by giving to the word “lawfare” its first systematic overview.
Lawfare: Law as a Weapon of War is a scrupulously researched book selecting key case studies of how legal instruments have been used “as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve a warfighting objective”. By analyzing conducts of various actors in the realm of law and their interconnected paradigms, Kittrie shows how lawfare saves money and lives while often proving more effective than military means.
Numerous examples are provided: from civil litigation by private attorneys to the US government financial sanctions to Iran; from the Chinese attempts to shape maritime and space law to the extensively covered struggle between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, involving NGOs, private parties, governmental sectors and intertwining domestic and international law. Although the definition could appear overly extended to cover non-strictly legal means, the author is clearly more focused on the benefits of this phenomenon in order to kindle discussion and call to action than on its definition.
Overall, Lawfare: law as a weapon of war delivers cogent evidence on the necessity of adopting law in the arsenal of any actor willing to achieve its strategical objectives in the current international arena.