The Africa Research Centre has been especially focused on the deliberate and cynical use of international law and international legal institutions such as the International Criminal Court by a range of governments as instruments of lawfare against Africa.

David B. Rivkin Jr and Lee A. Casey have summed up the deployment of “lawfare”: “The term ‘lawfare’ describes the growing use of international law claims, usually factually or legally meritless, as a tool of war. The goal is to gain a moral advantage over your enemy in the court of world opinion, and potentially a legal advantage in national and international tribunals.”

 

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey, “Lawfare”, Wall Street Journal, 23 February 2007.

 

The Lawfare Project has also defined the term: “Lawfare denotes the use of the law as a weapon of war, or more specifically, the abuse of the law and legal systems for strategic political or military ends.”

 

David B. Harris and Aaron Eitan Meyer, “Lawfare: A Supporting Arm in Modern Conflict”, The Lawfare Project, 4 April 2011.

 

US Major-General Charles Dunlap defined the concept as a “strategy of using – or misusing – law as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve an operational objective.”

 

“Lawfare Today”, Yale Journal of International Affairs, Winter 2008, p. 146. Major General Dunlap was the Deputy Judge Advocate General of the US Air Force.

 

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