Lawfare in Hybrid Wars: The 21st Century Warfare

Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 7 (2016) 63-87, 2016

25 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2015 Last revised: 17 May 2017

See all articles by Sascha Dov Bachmann

Sascha Dov Bachmann

Bournemouth University - The Media School; Swedish Defence University (FHS); Bournemouth University

Andres B Mosquera


Date Written: March 17, 2017


In the context of ‘Hybrid Warfare’ as 21st Century’s threat to peace and security, this paper intends to address the role of Lawfare. The use of law as a weapon, Lawfare, can have a tangible impact on democratic States when their adversaries use it in an exploitative way. Lawfare can be used in the context of Hybrid War. Examples of Hybrid Warfare as witnessed in the Russian/Ukrainian conflict of 2014/2015 and the ongoing conflict with Daesh are particularly sensitive to Lawfare due to an apparent asymmetric adherence to the international rule of law among involved actors. The different legal and ethical approach of democratic States in warfare and their non-democratic opponents in Hybrid War scenarios has the potential to impact negatively on the eventual prompt success of Western military actions. The authors argue that against this backdrop it is essential for law-abiding nations to adapt an approach which uses counter-Lawfare means in support of its own legitimate objectives and to prevent opponents from using it law as a weapon for their own strategic purposes.

Keywords: Lawfare, Hybrid Warfare, NATO, Russia, Comprehensive War, Full Spectrum Operations

Suggested Citation

Bachmann, Sascha-Dominik Oliver Vladimir and Mosquera, Andres B, Lawfare in Hybrid Wars: The 21st Century Warfare (March 17, 2017). Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies 7 (2016) 63-87, 2016 . Available at SSRN:

Sascha-Dominik Oliver Vladimir Bachmann (Contact Author)

Bournemouth University - The Media School ( email )

Bournemouth, BH12 5BB
United Kingdom

Swedish Defence University (FHS) ( email )

114 28, Drottning Kristinas väg 37
Stockholm, 114 28

HOME PAGE: http://

Bournemouth University ( email )

Bournemouth, BH1
United Kingdom


Andres B Mosquera

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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