The book explains the law relating to the conduct of hostilities and provides guidance on difficult or controversial aspects of the law. It covers who or what may legitimately be attacked and what precautions must be taken to protect civilians, cultural property or the natural environment. It deals with the responsibility of commanders and how the law is enforced. There are also chapters on internal armed conflicts and the security aspects of belligerent occupation. The author has taken the rules of the law of armed conflict, examined their historical origin and current exposition,NBdealt with problems of interpretation and application, and reached concluions about how they should be applied in practice.NBIn doing so, he bridges the gap between the legal theory propounded in academic works and the actual condct of military operations as evidenced in military manuals or in practice. In its third edition, the book has been brought up to date in the light of recent conflicts, especially the occupation of Iraq by allied forces in the period 2003-04, the more recent judgments and opinions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, the comprehensive work of the International Committee of the Red Cross with regard to customary international humanitarian law and the meaning of 'direct participation in hostilities', the Harvard University air and missile warfare project, the San Remo Manual on non-international armed conflicts, the UK Law of Armed Conflict Manual of 2004 and several excellent monographs. Written by a former military lawyer, the book will be of interest to military commanders, their staff and legal advisers but also to officials in Foreign and Defence Ministries and non governmental agencies working in conflict situations, as well as staff of international courts and tribunals dealing with war crimes. Previous editions have been recommended reading for students of international law at many universities in the United Kingdom and abroad.