Congratulations to Dr Janina Dill for winning second prize in the 2016 Peter Birks Prizes for Outstanding Legal Scholarship with her book Legitimate Targets? Social Construction, International Law and US Bombing (Cambridge University Press). The standard of the entries was extremely high and only six books were shortlisted.
The book, Legitimate Targets? Social Construction, International Law and US Bombing is based on an innovative constructivist theory of international law and investigates the effectiveness of international humanitarian law (IHL) in regulating the conduct of hostilities. A comprehensive exegesis of the law defining a legitimate target of attack reveals an unacknowledged controversy among legal and military professionals about the ‘logic’ according to which belligerents ought to balance humanitarian and military imperatives: the logics of sufficiency or efficiency. Although IHL prescribes the former, increased recourse to IL in US air warfare is constitutive of a legitimate target in accordance with the logic of efficiency. The logic of sufficiency is morally less problematic. Yet, neither logic satisfies contemporary expectations of effective IHL or legitimate warfare. Those expectations demand that hostilities follow a logic of liability, which proves impracticable. The book proposes changes to IHL, but concludes that according to widely shared normative beliefs on the 21st century battlefield there are no truly legitimate targets.
Read more about the book, and some reviews, at Janina Dill’s website here: http://www.janinadill.com/research.html