Book Review: Marco Longobardo, "The Use of Armed Force in Occupied Territory"
The International Law of Belligerent Occupation, a branch of International Law and part of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), has been well regulated and analyzed. The foundation of this branch of law dates back to the 19th century and most of its primary sources that were enacted dozens of years ago are still valid. However, state practice has developed since then and so has the legal research in identifying new issues and in unveiling new doctrines and approaches within the modern context. Marco Longobardo’s book “The Use of Armed Force in Occupied Territory“ is a valuable example of such scholarly research.
Besides the academic and scientific value of the book, we decided to write and publish a review of it in the Levan Alexidze Journal of International Law (LAJIL), because Marco Longobardo’s book was presented to a wide audience in Tbilisi, at an event hosted by the Levan Alexidze Foundation in January 2020 to celebrate the start of The International Law Weekend and the launch of the First Edition of the LAJIL. At that time, a book on the Law of Occupation by the author of this review was also presented. The considerable interest for the topic and for Longobardo’s book among the students and academics gathered at the event triggered our desire to publish a review of the latter in the current (second) Edition of the LAJIL.
The book deals with a yet unexplored issue, namely the use of military force during the occupation. Longobardo provides an insightful, thorough examination of the use of armed force through the different prisms of occupation. In particular, he studies (i) the applicability and relevance of Jus ad Bellum and of the rules of self-defense to military occupation; (ii) the admissibility of armed resistance against the occupying Power; (iii) law enforcement operations in occupied territories; and (iv) human rights standards in the context of the right to life during the occupation. In short, Longobardo attempts to examine all possible scenarios where different actors might resort to the use of force during the occupation. Among those actors are, first and foremost, the occupying Power but also local armed resistance groups, terrorists or the civilian population, as well as police and other law-enforcement bodies. Therefore, the provisions of the law of occupation are examined through the lens of international law of the use of force, of self-determination, and of human rights.
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