The War Lawyers


A book launch and conversation with Dr Craig Jones, author of the book The War Lawyers: The United States, Israel, and Juridical Warfare.

20TH MAY 2021

What role does the law, and individual lawyers more specifically, play in contemporary warfare? And what does this tell us about the relation between law and violence? 

Over the past few decades, military lawyers have become increasingly important actors in aerial targeting operations. Especially the US and Israel have come to rely more and more on these ‘war lawyers’ to give legal advice on a wide range of military operations. How have these lawyers interpreted and applied the laws of war? And how do they understand their own place within these states’ military enterprises?

In his important new book The War Lawyers: The United States, Israel, and Juridical Warfare, Dr Craig Jones explores these questions in detail. Drawing upon more than fifty interviews with war lawyers, Jones argues that more than limiting or curbing it, the law is productive of violence, helping to set the scope for what constitutes a valid military target.

Dr Jones offers an overview of his book, with responses from Professor Lisa Hajjar (University of California, Santa Barbara), author of Courting Conflict on Israeli military courts and of a forthcoming book on Guantanamo prison, and Dr Catherine Charrett (University of Westminster), author of The EU, Hamas and the 2006 Palestinian Elections: A Performance in Politics. Questions and a discussion follow, moderated by Professor Christopher Newfield, ISRF Director of Research.

This is the sixth in the ISRF’s series of Book Launches.