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Lawfare: A War Worth Fighting

Paul R. Williams

American University - Washington College of Law

September 11, 2010

Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 43, No. 145, 2010

Lawfare exists and is used every day by both those seeking to achieve legitimate ends and those seeking to achieve illegitimate ends. Lawfare is a war worth fighting; failing to fight lawfare could seriously jeopardize your client's interests, and, more importantly, it could jeopardize your ability to help bring an end to a violent conflict or prosecute those responsible for crimes committed during a conflict.

There are three similarities between legal mechanisms and processes and warfare that I think support the notion that lawfare is a useful concept. The first is that they often pursue the same objectives; the second is that they have a broadly similar approach for accomplishing these objectives – strategic, operational, and tactical; and the third is that lawfare, as part of a conflict resolution approach, is often times fought before the hot conflict, during the hot conflict, and the hot conflict.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 9

Keywords: lawfare, international law

JEL Classification: N40

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Date posted: April 3, 2012 ; Last revised: October 23, 2012

Suggested Citation

Williams, Paul R., Lawfare: A War Worth Fighting (September 11, 2010). Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Vol. 43, No. 145, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2032854

Contact Information

Paul R. Williams (Contact Author)
American University - Washington College of Law ( email )
4801 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
United States
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