The Theory and Practice at the Intersection Between Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
American Journal of International Law, Vol. 111 (2017, Forthcoming)
13 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2018 Last revised: 27 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 24, 2018
This essay reviews the following publications on the intersection between international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as a way of examining the state of the field: (1) The Drone Memos by Jameel Jaffer, (2) a compilation edited by Jens Ohlin entitled, Theoretical Boundaries of Armed Conflict and Human Rights, and (3) the Obama Administration's December 2016 Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States' Use of Military Force and Related National Security Operations. The essay argues that much of the secondary literature in this area reflects a particular jurisprudential vision -- a view of how international law does or should operate. But that vision is, in important respects, disconnected from the real-life practice of law. The essay thus suggests, for a next stage in the research agenda, taking the practice more seriously on its own terms. Doing so would help us better understand whether or how the law is working, what functions or values it is serving, and how it might realistically be improved.
Keywords: International Law, International Legal Theory, Drone Strikes, Counterterrorism Operations, International Human Rights Law, International Humanitarian Law, Law of Armed Conflict
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation