The Handbook consists of 32 Chapters in seven parts. Part I provides the historical background and sets out some of the contemporary challenges. Part II considers the relevant sources of international law. Part III describes the different legal regimes: land warfare, air warfare, maritime warfare, the law of occupation, the law applicable to peace operations, and the law of neutrality. Part IV introduces key concepts in international humanitarian law: weapons and the notion of superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering, the principle of distinction, proportionality, genocide and crimes against humanity, grave breaches and war crimes, internal armed conflict. Part V looks at key rights: the right to life, the prohibition on torture, the right to fair trial, economic, social and cultural rights, the protection of the environment, the protection of cultural property, and the human rights of the members of the armed forces. Part VI covers key issues such as: the use of force, terrorism, unlawful combatants, the application of human rights in times of armed conflict, forced migration, and issues of gender. Part VII deals with accountability issues including those related to private security companies, the need to focus on armed groups, as well as questions of state responsibility brought before national courts, and finally, the book addresses issues related to transitional justice.
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