Cambridge University Press
0521845319 - International Conflict and Security Law - Essays in Memory of Hilaire McCoubrey - Edited by Richard Burchill, Nigel D. White and Justin Morris


Hilaire McCoubrey wrote extensively in the area of armed conflict law (governing the use of force in international relations, and the conduct of hostilities), and on the issues of collective security law and the law relating to arms control. Although he died at the early age of forty-six in 2000 he had contributed significantly to the separate study of these areas, but also to the idea of studying the issues as a whole subject. The collection covers difficult and controversial issues in the area of conflict and security law. Within a coherent framework provided by extracts from Hilaire’s own work, the contributors, drawn both from academe and practice, provide expert analysis of many aspects of the law governing armed conflict and collective security. These include the application of international humanitarian law in the operational context; the duty to educate in humanitarian law; superior orders; command responsibility; the protective emblem; the relevance of international humanitarian law to terrorism; and legitimate military targets. The book then moves from a consideration of the laws of war to the law of peace with a consideration of the application of human rights law in international armed conflict law. An essay on democracy as an aspect of peace and security widens the human rights debate out further and takes us into regional security regimes. The essays then move on to discuss aspects of collective security law. As well as providing a fitting tribute to the main aspects of Hilaire’s contribution to knowledge, the volume provides a coherent reconsideration and development of key aspects of conflict and security law at a time when that law is being applied, breached, debated or reformed on almost a daily basis.

RICHARD BURCHILL is Director of the McCoubrey Centre for International Law. His research concerns the development of democracy in international law. He is author of The European Union and the Promotion and Protection of Democracy in International Law (2005).

NIGEL D. WHITE is Professor of International Organisations at the University of Nottingham. He is the editor of Collective Security Law (2002), and co-editor of the Journal of Conflict and Security Law.

JUSTIN MORRIS is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Hull. He is co-author (with the late Professor Hilaire McCoubrey) of Regional Peacekeeping in the Post-Cold War Era (2000).


Essays in Memory of Hilaire McCoubrey

Edited by


Published in association with the McCoubrey Centre
for International Law

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The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
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© Cambridge University Press 2005

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First published 2005

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ISBN-13 978-0-521-84531-1 hardback

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Biography of Hilaire McCoubrey        page   ix
Notes on contributors        xi
Foreword: There are men too gentle to live among wolves        xvi
Gary Edles
List of abbreviations        xix

1Hilaire McCoubrey and international conflict
and security law        1
Nigel D. White

2The development of operational law within Army
Legal Services        21
Gordon Risius

3Reflections on the relationship between the duty to
educate in humanitarian law and the absence of a defence of
mistake of law in the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court        32
Neil Boister

4Superior orders and the International Criminal Court        49
Robert Cryer

5Command responsibility: victors’ justice or just
desserts?        68
Colonel C. H. B. Garraway

6The proposed new neutral protective emblem: a long-term
solution to a long-standing problem        84
Michael Meyer

7Towards the unification of international humanitarian
law?        108
Lindsay Moir

8Of vanishing points and paradoxes: terrorism and international
humanitarian law        129
Richard Barnes

9What is a legitimate military target?        160
A. P. V. Rogers

10The application of the European Convention on Human Rights
during an international armed conflict        185
Peter Rowe

11Regional organizations and the promotion and protection of
democracy as a contribution to international peace and
security        209
Richard Burchill

12Self-defence, Security Council authority and Iraq        235
Nigel D. White

13International law and the suppression of maritime
violence        265
Scott Davidson

14Law, power and force in an unbalanced world        286
Justin Morris

Bibliography of Hilaire McCoubrey’s work        314
Index        317

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The Reverend Professor Hilaire McCoubrey 1953–2000

Hilaire was educated at Hymers College, Hull (1962–8) and Portsmouth Grammar School (1968–72). He studied for a law degree at Trinity College Cambridge (1972–5), and qualified as a solicitor in 1978 after serving his articles with the Greater London Council. He was appointed by Professor Sir John Smith to a lectureship in the Law Department at the University of Nottingham in 1978, and was promoted to a Senior Lectureship in 1991. He taught mainly Public International Law, Legal Theory and Planning Law while at Nottingham and wrote extensively in these areas, as shown by the bibliography of his work. His specialization in conflict and security law, evidenced by his seminal book International Humanitarian Law published in 1990, led him to establish the Centre for International Defence Law Studies in 1991. Its chief publication – The International Law and Armed Conflict Commentary – became the Journal of Armed Conflict Law in 1996 published by Nottingham University Press, and then the Journal of Conflict and Security Law published by Oxford University Press from 2000. While at Nottingham he completed a Ph.D in 1990, the thesis being published as The Obligation to Obey in Legal Theory. Between 1992 and 1995 Hilaire studied part-time for a Diploma of Theological and Pastoral Studies and was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England in 1995. He became a non-stipendiary minister in the Parish of Rowley and Skidby after moving to Beverley, Yorkshire. This was after his appointment to a Chair at the University of Hull in 1995 where he also became Director of Postgraduate Studies in the Law School. He relocated the Centre for International Defence Law Studies to Hull and continued to produce numerous books and articles on humanitarian law and more widely on collective security issues, as well as significantly expanding the postgraduate curriculum in Public International Law at Hull. He was a member of numerous bodies and organizations, playing an active role in the British Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, the International Law Association, the Political Studies Association, the San Remo Institute of International Humanitarian Law and the International Society for Military Law; and was invited to give lectures and papers around the globe. It was on a lecturing visit to Pakistan in April 2000 that he died at the age of forty-six.

McCoubrey Centre for International Law

Following Hilaire’s death the University of Hull Law School felt it would be appropriate to create a Centre that would carry on his work in international law and relations. The Centre was instituted in 2001 with the goal of promoting the study and research of international law and relations. The Centre hosts a number of guest speakers through its International Law Seminar Series and the Hilaire McCoubrey Memorial Lecture. Further information about the Centre and its activities may be found at

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