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
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
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