- Monday, 11 February, 2019
18:00 - 19:30
The launch of
The US Department of Defense Law of War Manual: Commentary and Critique
(Cambridge University Press)
Professor Michael Newton
Professor, Vanderbilt University Law School
former Judge Advocate for the 7th Special Forces Group, U.S. Army
Tom Tugendhat MBE MP (Chair)
Chair, Foreign Affairs Select Committee
Chief Legal Adviser to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Research Fellow, Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project
former Commandant de l’armée de l’air française
Rt Hon John Spellar MP
Senior Labour Member, Commons Defence Select Committee
Air Marshal Edward Stringer CB CBE
Director General of the Defence Academy and
of Joint Force Development, Joint Forces Command
About the Event
In twenty-first century conflicts, the increased density of the legal terrain has become a source of anxiety for soldiers, and commanders. Civilian leaders too have to deal with such complexity as they implement military plans within the boundaries of a multi-layered legal framework (international law, human rights law, law of armed conflict, law of the host nation, domestic law, military disciplinary conducts). Concurrently, the functions performed by modern armed forces also include a wide array of activities from conducting hostilities, maintaining order to the transport of humanitarian aid, clearing mines, fighting crime and helping the reconstruction of State structures in the post bellum phase.
In this seminal work, Professor Michael Newton provides an irreplaceable tool for any politician, international expert, or military practitioner who wishes to understand the approach taken by the American military in the complex range of modern conflicts. This book intends to provide an in depth analysis of the US approach to the most pressing problems in modern wars including controversies surrounding use of human shields, fighting in urban areas, the use of cyberwar and modern weaponry, expanding understanding of human rights, and the rise of ISIS. It also contributes to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of US legal and policy and the reasons behind the modern American way of war.
About Michael Newton
Michael A. Newton is Professor of the Practice of Law and Professor of the Practice of Political Science at Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, Tennessee and the Editor of the US Department of Defense Law of War Manual. He is an authority in the law of armed conflict research field, expert on terrorism, accountability, transnational justice, and conduct of hostilities issues. He has published over ninety articles, editorials, and book chapters including co-authored books Proportionality in International Law (2014), and Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein (2008), which received the Book of the Year Award from the International Association of Penal Law. Newton helped negotiate the International Criminal Court Elements of Crimes and served in the US Department of State during the Clinton and Bush Administrations.
Professor Newton served in the U.S. Army more than 21 years, beginning with his commission from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in May 1984 as an armor officer in the 4th Battalion, 68th Armor at Fort Carson, Colorado. He attended the University of Virginia School of Law and served as the Chief Operational Law with the US Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) supporting Desert Storm and deployed on Operation Provide Comfort to assist Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq. He was the Judge Advocate for the 7th Special Forces Group and led the human rights and rules of engagement education for all Multinational Forces and International Police deploying into Haiti.