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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses seven key issues. First, it discusses and defines the term ‘weapon’. Secondly, it explores the weapons law element of the law of armed conflict (LOAC), including how it relates to other existing bodies of law dealing with weapons. Thirdly, it gives an account of the development of the conventional law of weapons, because the bulk of current weapons law is contained in treaties that contain important principles underpinning weapons law and define its nature. Fourthly, it identifies these principles and comments on their importance. Fifthly, since conventional law has a vital relationship with customary law, the chapter offers some comment on the current state of the customary law of weapons. Sixthly, it returns to the issue of technology, in particular new technologies that represent significant challenges to existing law. Finally, some attempt is made to assess where the law might go in the future and what issues are likely to be on the agenda in the immediate term.

Keywords: law of armed conflict, weapons law, treaties, conventional law, customary law

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