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Grotius’ Jus in Bello, with Special Reference to Ruses of War and Perfidy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the views which Grotius expressed in Book III of The Law of War and Peace on jus in bello in the narrow sense. It focuses on those aspects of the subject which fall under the headings of "means and methods of warfare" and, notably, "ruses of war and perfidy". The chapter attempts to relate Grotius' views on these matters to the comparable parts of the law of armed conflict as it stands today. Of even more lasting value are Grotius' views on the binding force of the law of war, as opposed to mere practice. It matters little that the law as he perceived it i.e., the law of nature and the law of nations provided very few limitations on the freedom of action of belligerents with respect to choice of means and methods of warfare.

Keywords: armed conflict; Grotius' Jus in Bello; law of warfare; ruses of war

10.1163/ej.9789004158252.i-1118.58
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