ARTICLE: THE LAW OF LAND MINE WARFARE: PROTOCOL II TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON CERTAIN CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS. Skip over navigation
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Military Law Review

ARTICLE: THE LAW OF LAND MINE WARFARE: PROTOCOL II TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON CERTAIN CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS.

Summer, 1984

105 Mil. L. Rev. 73

Author

Lieutenant Colonel Burris M. Carnahan *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Until recently, international law gave little guidance on the proper use of land mines and booby traps in armed conflict. Despite the widespread use of these weapons since World War I, land mines and booby traps have remained "neglected stepchildren" in the modern law. Thus, the 1907 Hague Regulations on Land Warfare 1 did not mention land mines, even though the use of mines at sea became the subject of the VIII Hague Convention, negotiated at the same international conference. 2 Similarly, and in contrast with more controversial arms such as poison gas, napalm and nuclear weapons, the land mine has attracted almost no attention from writers on the law of armed conflict. 3 Of the recent treatises, only that of Morris Greenspan even considers whether the use of land mines might be subject to any special rules. Greenspan concluded that land mines might lawfully be used as a defensive weapon, "used to protect a defensive position or by a retiring force to delay pursuit by the enemy." 4 When used as an offensive weapon, however, "such mines would be open to objection, as, for instance, when laid by a raiding force in enemy territory, since generally there would be no way of ensuring that they would not injure or kill persons . . . protected by the law from attack." 5 In his view, offensive mines would be considered "indiscriminate" weapons.

The concerns expressed by Professor Greenspan ...
 
 
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