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date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores ‘theatre of operations’ as a legal concept in international law, with emphasis on the geographical extent—‘boundaries of the battlefield’—of the use of force by belligerents. It addresses the meaning of ‘theatre of operations’ by considering two legal issues: the right of parties to an armed conflict to conduct military operations and the applicable law to armed operations carried out beyond the borders of a state. It examines the notion of the area of war in the context of jus in bello, jus ad bellum, and actions taken by the UN Security Council in response to armed conflicts, with reference to security and exclusion zones. It identifies ‘protected zones’ in which military operations are excluded based on the international law of armed conflicts and looks at issues raised by cyber warfare pertaining to the applicability of classic provisions of jus ad bellum and jus in bello.

Keywords: theatre of operation, boundary of battlefield, use of force, military operation, area of war, UN Security Council, armed conflict, exclusion zone, protected zone, cyber warfare

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